Archives for category: altruism

Tocmai ce am gasit chestia asta in mail:

“Morala ZEN

Un cal deprimat se tolaneste pe jos si nu mai vrea pentru nimic in
lume sa se ridice.
Stapanul disperat, nereusind sa-l convinga sa se ridice, cheama
veterinarul. Acesta sosi imediat, examineaza animalul si zice:
– Aaaa, e foarte grav, singura solutie sunt aceste pastile pe care i
le vei da cateva zile; daca nu reactioneaza, trebuie eutanasiat.
Porcul a auzit totul si fuge la cal:
– Ridica-te, altfel se sfarseste rau !!!
Dar calul nu reactioneaza si da incapatanat din cap.
A doua zi, veterinarul vine din nou sa vada efectul pilulelor:
– Nu reactioneaza, mai asteptam o zi, dar cred ca nu sunt sperante!
Porcul, auzind tot, fuge din nou la cal:
– Trebuie sa te scoli, altfel vei pati mari necazuri !
Dar calul, nimic!
A treia zi, constatand lipsa progreselor, veterinarul ii cere stapanului:
– Du-te dupa carabina, a venit timpul sa-l scapam pe bietul animal de chinuri !
Porcul fuge disperat la cal:
– Trebuie sa reactionezi, e ultima ocazie, te rog, astia sunt gata sa
te omoare !!!
Calul se ridica, se scutura, face cateva miscari de dans, o ia la fuga
in galop si sare cateva obstacole.
Stapanul, care tinea mult la calul sau,foarte fericit ii spune veterinarului:
– Multumesc mult, esti un medic minunat, ai facut un miracol !!!
Trebuie neaparat sa sarbatorim evenimentul ! Haide sa taiem porcul si
sa facem o masa mare !!!

 

Morala Zen: Vezi-ti de treburile tale !!!”

Mi s-a parut a fi o poveste foarte interesanta.
Sugereaza, in subliminal, ca porcul ala era crescut ‘de frumusete’!
In realitate, porcii se taie la o anumita greutate. Sau cand se imbolnavesc.
Nu cred ca cineva ar taia un porc de dimensiuni nepotrivite pentru a sarbatori insanatosirea unui cal bolnav… poate a unui copil…
Iar daca tot ajunsese la dimensiunea potrivita pentru taiere… ‘intamplarea’ ca mai intai l-a salvat pe cal nu face altceva decat sa-l inobileze pe porc… si in nici un caz nu i-a scurtat viata cu mai mult de cateva zile!

Foarte multi si-au adus aminte de Olivia Steer.

olivia Steer ciudata

Steer îl citează pe controversatul politician Ninel Peia care afirmă că infestarea cu rujeolă “s-a făcut artificial şi intenționat de către agenţi cu dublă comandă”.
“Un fapt este clar: de la începutul anului, s-au descoperit circa 4.000 de cazuri de rujeolă, din care 17 s-au finalizat, tragic, cu moartea bolnavilor. Totuşi, în ce stat European se mai înregistrează o epidemie de proporţiile astea? Niciunde! Informaţiile mele spun că infestarea s-a făcut ARTIFICIAL şi INTENŢIONAT de către agenţi cu dublă comandă, agenţi dubli, cum li se mai spune. La Arad şi Nădlac se îmbonlăvesc copiii dar peste graniţă la Nagylak, Mako sau Szeged nici unul? Şi ungurii au grad de vaccinare mai mic cu 10% decât românii. Valul de rujeolă a generat ceea ce se şi intenţiona: un val de emoţie uriaş care ar împinge opinia publică la acceptarea rapidă şi fără mari dezbateri a Legii vaccinării”, a scris Olivia Steer pe Facebook, potrivit Antena 3.

Acelasi lucru se intampla in Statele Unite. Si acolo se manifesta o oarecare reticenta impotriva vaccinarii si, la fel ca in Romania, au re-inceput sa apara focare de infectie.

MeaslesIncrease2

Toata chestia asta seamana foarte bine cu o vanatoare de vrajitoare.

In loc sa ne concentram pe cauza reala ale imbolnavirilor – neincrederea unora dintre parinti, ii acuzam pe cei care – cu naivitate, din dorinta de a-si face publicitate sau orice combinatie din amandoua, vorbesc mult despre lucruri pe care le inteleg pe jumatate.

Da, exista o legatura extrem de stransa, si extrem de evidenta, intre neincrederea in vaccinuri si campaniile de presa desfasurate de anti-vaxxeri.

Partea proasta este ca toate atacurile ad-hominem la adresa anti-vaxxerilor sunt, de fapt, atacuri indreptate direct impotriva gandirii de tip stiintific.

Stupoare?!?

Sa o luam metodic.

Cunoasterea de tip stiintific se bazeaza pe ipoteze emise de cei care pun la indoiala consensul valabil la un moment dat si verificate de ‘colegii de breasla’ ai celor care au formulat acele ipoteze.
Daca respectivii colegi sunt de acord cu ipotezele analizate acestea devin teorii ‘acceptate de lumea stiintifica’.
Si ‘asteapta linistite’ ca niste alti ‘cârtitori’ sa le puna la indoiala si sa formuleze noi ipoteze, care, la randul lor, vor fi puse ‘in discutie publica’.
Iar tot acest proces se desfasoara, cel putin teoretic, intr-o atmosfera de transparenta si respect reciproc. Doate datele disponibile sunt puse pe masa si intre cercetatorii care se verifica unii pe ceilalti exista relatii de colegialitate. Repet, aici este vorba de teorie, locusul acela unde sunt evaluate doar ideile, nu si oamenii care le promoveaza.

Privind dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, cei ca Olivia Steer sunt un fel de ‘fluieratori in biserica’. Li se pare ca un lucru nu este la locul lui si atrag atentia celorlati asupra acelei ‘neregularitati’.
S-ar putea sa se insele – cum credem noi, cei care ne-am vaccinat copiii, ca este cazul anti-vaxxerilor.
Sau s-ar putea ca o cat de mica portiune din informatia vehiculata in jurul acestui subiect sa fie, totusi, valabila.

Si uite-asa ajungem la povestea cu Pastorul si Lupul… aia in care Pastorul se tot plictisea si, din cand in cand, striga ‘Lupul’. Iar satenii ii sareau in ajutor… numai ca lupul nu venise… Si asta pana cand satenii s-au plictisit la randul lor… si nu s-au mai dus… numai ca de data aia Lupul venise….

In varianta povestita copiilor, Satenii il ajuta pe Pastor sa adune, a doua zi, animalele ramase iar acesta intelege, in sfarsit, morala povestii… numai ca asta este doar o fabula…

In lumea reala trebuie sa sarim de fiecare data cand cineva striga ‘A venit Lupul’.

Nu de alta, ci doar pentru ca sunt oile noastre in joc! Iar pastorul ala este angajatul nostru. Adica este responsabilitatea noastra sa alegem un pastor responsabil, nu unul care sa-si bata joc de noi….
Iar daca un trecator ‘are vedenii’ si striga degeaba… asta e. Ghinion. Ne gandim la cate pagube ar fi putut face Lupul daca ar fi venit cu adevarat si mergem mai departe…
Singura situatie in care am putea sa-l pedepsim pe cel care tras alarma aiurea ar fi aceea in care ar fi evident ca a facut-o ca sa isi bata joc de noi. Altfel, daca pedeapsa e nejustificata, sau prea mare, acelasi om – sau oricare altii, ar putea intoarce capul si s-ar putea preface ca n-au vazut nimic. De ce sa-si riste ei fundul pentru ‘oile comunitatii’?
Daca Lupul pe care il vad in momentul asta ‘se razgandeste’ si nu-i asteapta pe Sateni?
Sau daca e ‘inteles cu primarul’, acesta ii conduce pe Sateni pe cai intortocheate si pana ajung la locul faptei Lupul are timp sa-si ascunda urmele? Nu mai bine sa se faca ca nu vede, avand in vedere experienta predecesorilor sai?

Bine, bine, asta facem cu oile… ce ne facem cu pojarul?
Nu de alta, ne mor copiii pana termini tu povestea cu oile…

Pai ce sa facem, cumparam vaccin!

In America, locul ala unde spuneam ca a inceput miscarea anti-vaxxer, parintii carora le vine mintea la cap au de unde sa cumpere o fiola de vaccin! Aici … mai greu…
Trecand peste amanuntul ca noi, toti, platim niste impozite. Din care ar trebui cumparate inclusiv vaccinurile care sa ne apere, pe noi si pe copiii nostri, de tot felul de boli…

Chiar credeti ca mama bebelusului cu care am inceput articolul stie macar cine e Olivia Steer? Ca sa nu mai vorbim despre faptul ca acum 16 ani, cand ar fi trebuit sa fi fost vaccinata ea, mama, nu vorbea nimeni despre aiureli din astea…

Si nu, nu sunt de acord nici cu vaccinarea obligatorie!
Avem medici, ei trebuie sa decida daca un copil poate sau nu sa fie vaccinat. Pe semnatura si responsabilitatea lor!
Vrei sa-ti duci copilul la scoala? Scoti de la medic o adevarinta ca acel copil a fost vaccinat. Sau ca nu a putut fi inca vaccinat din cauzele 1, 2, 3 … consemnate precis, cu data, in fisa medicala a copilului si cu angajamentul ca, pe masura ce acele cauze vor inceta, copilul va fi imunizat de indata ce se va putea.
Altfel… tine-l taica acasa… sa te intrebe pe tine ce si cum cand s-o face mai mare, nu sa-l imbolnaveasca pe al meu pentru ca ai tu gargauni in cap…

Si lasati-o pe Steer in plata Domnului… cu cat o bagati mai mult in seama, cu atat mai multe trasnai o sa spuna…

Cum or fi reusind astia sa ne indrepte pe tot felul de piste false…
Sau ne-o facem cu mana noastra?
Dupa principiul ‘tara arde si baba se piaptana’…

NB. “Pojar” asta inseamna, de fapt.
“Incendiu”!
Iar ‘incendiul neincrederii generalizate’ nu poate fi stins atacandu-i, la persoana, pe cei care au curajul (inconstienta?) de a-si exprima sentimentele cu voce tare…
Ar fi similar cu a-i biciui pe canarii dusi in mina atunci cand gâfâie din cauza monoxidului de carbon acumulat in galerii…
Singurul remediu este redescoperirea respectului reciproc.
Intre medic si pacient, intre politician si alegator, intre specialist si profan, intre politicieni, intre specialisti, intre profani…

PS
Acum au inceput sa se cearte pe ambulante, pe asta cu vaccinarea au lasat-o deoparte…

About the future, I mean!

no kids

This ‘piece of information’ keeps bouncing inside the Internet and is interpreted in various manners.

From ‘what to expect from leaders who are ‘this’ selfish’ to “I find it trashy and irrelevant. Merkel’s husband has two sons, btw.
Well… Macron’s wife also has her own children. And a few nephews.

What startled me was this reaction.
I’m under the stark realization that the most intelligent of the population have the fewest children, which might not bode well for voting statistics in the future.”

While the observation is, of course, correct, I’m afraid the interpretation attached to it is somewhat ‘confused’.

First if all, it’s not ‘intelligence’ that drives people to give birth to fewer children. Intelligence – coalesced at social level – helps a population to increase its living standard. As such, children no longer die young so parents no longer have to have so many of them. In order to have somebody help you in your older days you no longer have to give birth to more than two or three children.

If intelligence alone would have prevented people from having children Israel and the US would have been at least as ‘childless’ as Japan or most of the European Countries.
On the contrary. The US is still in a better situation than the EU, 1.8 vs 1.6, while Israel thrives at 3.1

Another way of making sense of what’s going on is to consider that people no longer make kids simply because they have reached the conclusion that ‘money’ can just as well help them cope during their older days. Since so few children live with, or at least near, their old parents this no longer seems so farfetched as it may look at first glance…

But what’s going on in Israel? They also have enough money…

The country needs soldiers to defend it’s very existence?

But, you know, Israel is a free country. Those kids could leave anytime before being drafted. As some of them do.

But most of them stay! Freely!

Then how about people giving birth having at least some connection with ‘hope’?
As in people having hope for a better tomorrow? One worth defending?

One worth making children for?

That all things, at least those belonging to the real world, have a certain thickness… is a truism.

Yet so often we ignore this evidence and relate only to the appearance we are looking at.
At a given moment.
By chance, by design or by negligence.

Take for instance Marine le Pen’s ascension to the second tour in the French elections.
Quite a number of ‘pundits’ put the ‘blame’ for this squarely on ‘Bruxelles” shoulders. Including her and her followers. And, not at all surprisingly, Trump and Putin.

And not without reason!

After all the EU bureaucracy, headquartered in Bruxelles, is responsible for many of the consequences brought upon our heads by the very existence of what is currently known as the European Community.

what we gonna do

Click on the bloody picture, will ya!

First of all let me remind you what brought about the current edition of the ‘European Project.’

OK, it has been attempted before. By the Romans, by Charlemagne, by Napoleon, by Hitler… and don’t tell me that Putin wouldn’t love to be ‘crowned’ as The European Leader.

The problem is that all those attempts had started as individual initiatives and had happened to be ‘against the grain’. As in those who had to shoulder the burden for it didn’t see any benefit from it coming to life.

A small parenthesis. There is nothing ‘unnatural’ for strong willed individuals to try to widen their domination to the farthest possible corner. It had happened when and where ever geographical and historical conditions had allowed it.
The problem is that all imperia have eventually failed, usually in an abysmal manner. History is so full of examples that I won’t bother presenting any.

This edition of the European Project has started out of necessity.

At the end of WWII the continent was in a state of disarray.
The West was mired in self doubt and extremely tired while the East had experienced both the German occupation and the blessings of being liberated by the Soviets.

Understanding that Europe had to be helped, or else – it could have been, in a short while, overwhelmed by the Soviets, America had drafted the Marshall Plan.
For the sake of efficiency, the Americans had asked the Europeans to organize themselves at the receiving end. The Europeans responded by calling a Conference for European Economic Co-operation. It would be beyond the scope of this post to get into further details but this was the start of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation which a short while later had set the stage for the European Coal and Steel Community – the precursor of the present-day European Community.

As we all know, the project has fulfilled its intended goals.

Europe has recovered nicely and the Soviet Union was contained.

‘But you haven’t mentioned, at all, the (professed?) reason for which the European Community was forged in the first place! To make sure that Europe will never again be drenched in blood as a consequence of war!’

Yes, this had indeed been the professed motive, “The European Union is set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours, which culminated in the Second World War“.
It did its job, briliantly, only it was just a ‘marketing gimmick’. Ever since the Soviet Union had started to export, by force, its particular brand of (extremely authoritarian) socialism to the countries under its ‘sphere of influence’ it had become abundantly clear that the rest of Europe had only two alternatives. Stick together in order to be able to fend of the Soviets or be gobbled up piece by piece.
Fighting among themselves? In those conditions? Not even Stalin could have dreamed of something like that…

Why did America continued to help?
First of all, they were already heavily invested here. Just think of it. To save Europe from  the Nazis only to allow the Soviets to occupy it… doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Then why are so many trying to tear it apart now? From inside as well as from outside?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand Putin’s motives so I won’t waste any of your time on this.

It’s a little bit harder to understand the Americans who wish the European Project would fail. After all we are their most important trading partner AND their closest ideological neighbor. I used ‘neighbor’ on purpose, instead of ‘friend’.

Distant neighbor, I have to add…

You see, being protected by two oceans and by a very effective ‘nuclear umbrella’ may induce a certain feeling of coziness… just remember how long they had waited before intervening in WWI and WWII. Add to that the fact that people’s memories are very short and you’ll understand why the ordinary Americans do not care much for what is going on this side of the Atlantic.
Why are some of the American ‘plutocrats’ weary of the EU and rather friendly towards Putin? For the very same reason for which their peers had done business with Hitler, even after the start of the war…. Some of them might still be convinced that their corporations would be more profitable under an authoritarian regime than under a more democratic one. And since Putin makes the right noises…

And we have reached now the really tricky part.
Why on Earth are some people trying to tear apart the EU from the inside?!?

One might very well consider they, or at least some of them, constitute a post-Soviet fifth-column, meant to destabilize Europe and make it more susceptible to be influenced by Putin and his eventual heirs.

Since I cannot prove any of this, one way or the other, I’m going to use a different tack.

History teaches us that people commit mistakes for two reasons. Alone or in conjunction: Lack of adequate understanding of the matter and/or callousness.

Take your pick: Quisling, Petain, Lord Haw-Haw… but don’t forget Daladier, Chamberlain and also von Papen.

But there’s a catch.
No amount of stupidity and/or callousness on the part of any of the politicos may produce any damages unless the situation is ‘right’. Or ‘ripe’?!?

You see, all these jerks had been able to make their ultimately stupid moves simply  because the social yarn had already been messed up by a long line of political, and economic, blunders. From the French insistence that the Germans pay huge war reparations after WWI to, but not exclusively, the Fed mishandling rates during the ’20es and the 30es.

The current situation is nowhere near as bad as it was before WWII but does share with that a couple of converging points.

To be continued

For more than a year now I was struggling to understand the circumstances that have produced the current political mess in America.

I finally figured it out.

Confusion and dissatisfaction!

If you have enough people that are both confused and malcontent then all kind of ‘strange’ things will happen.

Only one of them won’t be enough to explain the whole gamut of what’s going on and that’s why I wasn’t satisfied by any of the many articles that pointed out one reason or another for the ‘popular discontent that brought the Donald to the White House’.
In fact no amount of ‘unhappiness’ can explain how two mature parties can nominate such lousy candidates. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump fit, not even loosely, the profile of a decent President. That’s why the voter turn-out was the lowest in the last 80 years or so.

But if you add ‘confusion’… things begin to clear out.

And no, I’m not speaking here about the regular people being confused as a result of the ‘politicos’ having misbehaved horribly.
I’m afraid things are way deeper than this.
Even those who believe themselves to be educated in these matters seem to be swimming in a sea of thicker and thicker fog.

Take, for instance, the current debate about the differences between ‘republic’ and ‘democracy’.

A republic is a representative type of government, and its goal is to simultaneously control the majority while protecting the minority. For example, in the republic of the United States, the government is limited constitutionally, and power is divided between the three branches of government.

A democracy is a type of government that grants eligible citizens the right to equal participation. This right is provided directly through the creation and development of laws or through elected representatives. The interest of the majority is the most important aspect in a democracy.

A republic is a representative form of democracy. A republic has an elected head of state, such as a president, that serves for a specific period of time. In a republic, the interest of the majority rules through its elected representatives. However, a republic has a constitution that protects the minority from being entirely overruled or unrepresented.

See what I mean? Adding insult to injury this definitions were published by a site which calls itself ‘reference.com‘ …

I’m not going to pick truth from fiction in that quote, that would only add to the already too thick confusion.

Enough for me to say that ‘republic’ is indeed a manner in which societies are organized (a.k.a. ‘governed’) while ‘democracy’ is a manner in which societies decide for themselves. Yes, these two things have a lot in common but we should not confuse them.

There are republics which only pretend to be democratic – like the ancient Soviet Union or the current Democratic Republic of Korea, some which are democratic in a rather strange way – Iran for example, or which are slowly ‘loosing’ democracy behind – like Orban’s Hungary or Putin’s Russia. History has also a few examples of republics which had given up democracy all together. Hitler’s Germany, for instance

On the other hand there are monarchies (OK, constitutional monarchies) which are perfectly democratic. The British Commonwealth, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium…

What can explain the current confusion? ‘The interest of the majority is the most important aspect in a democracy’?!?
A major lack of understanding about what democracy really means?

A terrible confusion between the formal aspects of democracy – freedom to vote for what ever candidate accompanied by a fair account of the ballots – and the really important tenets of democratic behavior – honest, open and mutually respectful exchange of ideas about the current state of affairs between the interested members of the society?
My point being that true democracy is about the opportunity to rationally convince those around you/making yourself available to be convinced by rational arguments, not about the majority imposing its view on the minority. That is nothing but mob rule, a horrid perversion of what democracy is meant to be.

Basically, what happens – under all forms of social arrangements/forms of government: republic, constitutional or absolute monarchy – in a society is that people need to know where that society is headed to. Authoritarian societies are run by the ruler – and the people, willingly, unwillingly or with mixed spirits, agree for the time being – while the democratic societies entertain a certain ‘effervescence of ideas’ which bring forward the important problems that need to be resolved and what would be the socially acceptable manners for those problems to be fixed.

But in order for that ‘effervescence of ideas’ to be efficient, the ordinary people have to contribute in earnest to the exchange and the politicians need to pay close attention and to cooperate among themselves and with the rest of the society towards solving those problems.

That’s why I’d like you to remember when was the last time that people on the different sides of the political divide have actually talked together?
Why do we have a ‘political divide’ in the first place?

Aren’t we supposed to be ‘all together’ in our respective countries?

What’s gotten into us that made us fight each-other so bitterly?

Why do we succumb so easily to ‘divide and conquer’?

Why are there still so many politicos who keep using this method, despite the ample proof that has been provided to us, through out the history, that ‘divide and conquer‘ inevitably ends up in disaster?

sf_filofteia_w180

Nascuta la inceputul veacului al XIII in Tarnovo – capitala imperiului romano-bulgar condus de fratii Petru si Asan.

Mama sa, despre care se crede ca ar fi fost de origine romana, moare pe vremea cand viitoarea sfanta era copila, dar nu inainte de a o invata pe fiica ei “dragostea de Dumnezeu si de aproa­pele, faptele de milostenie, rugaciunile si postul si alte virtuti care trebuie sa impodobeasca sufletul unui adevarat crestin

Dupa moartea mamei sale, Filofteia continua sa locuiasca in casa tatalui sau – care s-a recasatorit relativ repede – si sa se comporte asa cum a invatat de la mama sa: “traind mai mult pentru Hristos si pentru cei aflati in suferinta.

Comportament care se pare ca a iritat-o pe mama cea vitrega, ba chiar si pe tatal fetei: “acesta a urmarit-o ca sa vada ce face cu mancarea pe care trebuia sa i-o aduca la camp. Incredintandu-se ca o dadea celor lipsiti, s-a infuriat atat de tare, incat a scos securea pe care o purta la brau si a aruncat-o asupra fetei. A ranit-o grav la un picior, incat dupa putina vreme si-a dat sufletul in mana Ziditorului a toata faptura.

Filofteia ajunge sa fie considerata sfanta iar moastele sale, pentru a nu fi profanate de turcii care au ocupat Tarnovo, au fost adapostite la biserica Sf. Nicolae din Curtea de Arges.

In scurt timp Sfanta Filofteia devine “o adevarata ocrotitoare a Tarii Romanesti“.

Daca stai bine sa te gandesti chiar se potriveste.
O sfanta ucisa de chiar tatal ei – si nu de pagani, ca de obicei – din cauza zgarceniei – si nu din motive ‘religioase’, ca de obicei – ajunge sa fie considerata ocrotitoarea unei tari ai carei copii sunt lasati de izbeliste prin orfelinate, parasiti de parintii plecati la munca in strainatate si dispretuiti de guvernanti.

In realitate suntem cu totii vinovati de destinul copiiilor nostri.

NB, astazi este 7 Noiembrie, ziua in care este “pomenita” sfanta Filofteia.
A doua zi dupa Sf. Nicolae.

 

Recenta măsura legislativa de creștere a sprijinului financiar pentru mamele cu mai mulți copii a stârnit diverse și variate reacții.

Ana Măiță, de la Asociația Mame pentru Mame, spune ca banii suplimentari pot fi de un real folos dar că această inițiativă ar trebui să fie doar începutul. ‘Este nevoie de îmbunatațirea reală a infrastructurii de sprijin a celor care încearcă să crească copii in Romania. Creșe, grădinițe, asistență medicală, stimulente fiscale pentru cei care angajează în mod legal bone, etc., etc….’
Părinţii nu au o problemă cu a face copii în România, au o problemă când e vorba să-i crească. Şi este dureros să aleg să-i crescă în alte state, care, culmea, poate nu au aşa indemnizaţii generoase pentru creşterea copiilor, dar au un sistem de suport pentru părinţi mult mai bine pus la punct.”

Vasile Ghețău, directorul Centrului de Cercetări Demografice al Academiei, ne sugerează ca, înainte de a continua același gen de măsuri pe care le-am folosit și până acum, să încercăm să înțelegem de ce atât de multe cupluri tinere renunță să facă copii sau se opresc la unul, cel mult doi urmași.

Teoria evoluționistă susține că fenomenele apar ca simple întâmplări și se perpetuează în măsura în care acestea se potrivesc cu setul de condiții care determină o situație sau alta.

Deci, pe urmele Profesorului Ghețău, să căutam care sunt acele condiții care ii ‘încurajează’ pe tineri sa se abțină de la a da urmare îndemnului, până la urma firesc, ‘creșteți, înmulțiți-vă și stăpâniți lumea’.

Ca instrument de analiză vă propun să folosim Piramida lui Maslow. Chiar dacă a fost ‘denigrată’, mai ales de psihologi, aceasta poate deveni un instrument valoros, mai ales în sociologie.
Voi face o scurtă digresiune pentru a explica la ce mă refer.
Teoriei lui Maslow i se reproșează o anumită ‘lipsă’ de rigoare științifică – “However, after Maslow’s death in 1970, researchers did undertake a more detailed investigation, with attitude-based surveys and field studies testing out the Hierarchy of Needs. “When you analyse them, the five needs just don’t drop out,” says Hodgkinson (a psychologist at Warwick Business School). “The actual structure of motivation doesn’t fit the theory. And that led to a lot of discussion and debate, and new theories evolved as a consequence.”
Reproș absolut nemeritat, în primul rând pentru că Maslow însuși a prezentat-o ca pe un început fără pretenții: „The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand or fall, not so much on facts available or evidence presented, as upon researches to be done, researches suggested perhaps, by the questions raised in this paper.”
Alți cercetători, cu procupări mai degrabă sociologice decât psihologice, au opinii mai nuanțate: „The researchers also discovered that those who felt their life was positive did so more when their most basic needs of food, shelter, and money were met. The higher needs, autonomy, respect, and social support, were linked to a feeling of joy. “Thus life satisfaction is not just an individual affair, but depends substantially also on the quality of life of one’s fellow citizens,”

Concluzia pe care o trag eu este ca Teoria lui Maslow are o puternică ‘încărcătură’ statistică, în sensul că observațiile sale sunt valabile mai degrabă ca medii rezultate din observarea unor populații întregi decât ca niste reguli cărora s[ li se supună indivizi izolați. Și aceștia respectă, bineînțeles, acelaș tip de legități,  însă cu puternice ‘variații’ individuale și nu în mod deterministic, așa cum și-ar dori psihologii și departamentele de HR.

Simplificând puțin teoria, putem grupa cele cinci etaje ale piramidei în trei mari etape.

– Cea care grupeaza necesitățile ‘fiziologice imediate’: de regulă, și mai ales în situația indivizilor valizi, acestea sunt satisfăcute în principal prin eforturi individuale, chiar dacă efectuate în context social.
– Cea care grupeaza necesitățile legate de siguranța persoanei, apartenența la grup și stima de sine – fiecare dintre ele putând fi satisfăcute nu doar exclusiv in context social ci doar exclusiv cu concursul activ al celorlalți membrii ai comunității imediate persoanei despre care vorbim și
– Cea care marchează, de fapt, întoarcerea la autonomia individuală – actualizarea sinelui. Ne-uitand nicio clipă, bineînțeles, că și această etapă are loc, indiferent de cât de puternică este componenta individuală, tot în context social – individul însuși a fost deja puternic modelat de societatea în care/cu ajutorul căreia și-a satisfăcut – în ce măsura în a fost capabil să o facă în condițiile date – necesitățile grupate în primele doua etape.

Să vedem cum reușește populația Romaniei să își satisfacă aceste trei categorii de necesități, ținand cont de faptul că evaluarea rezultatelor este făcută de invizii în sine, procesul fiind mai degraba unul de tip iterativ – fiecare om își re-evaluează, constant, situația și, în plus, compară rezultatelele obținute de sine cu cele obținute de ‘ceilalți’.
Și cum din ce în ce mai mulți Români au acces la internet acești ‘ceilalți’ sunt din ce în ce mai departați de punctul ‘de stație’, atât în sensul geografic al conceptului cât și in cel cultural.

Necesitățile ‘fiziologice imediate’.
Din păcate suntem încă destul de departe de media Europeană – cea pe care o cunoaștem, din ce în ce mai mulți, din ce în ce mai bine. Și cu toate că o cunoaștem, nu prea reușim să ne apropiem suficient de repede de ea.
Cu toate astea sunt anumite segmente de populație din Romania care par a nu lua în considerare aceste aspect. Dupa cum sunt și unele popoare, care trăiesc mult mai prost chiar și decât cele mai defavorizate grupuri din Romania, care continuă să dea naștere unui număr de-a dreptul eroic de copii. S-ar putea deci ca acest aspect, cel direct material și relativ ușor de rezolvat cu mijloace financiare, să nu fie chiar atât de definitoriu pe cât speră cei care promovează, mai degrabă ‘expeditoriu’,  măririle de alocații…. mai ales că același fenomen de încetinire a nașterilor apare și în alte țări, unele cu niveluri de trai mult peste cel din Romania. Japonia, Germania, Scandinavia…
Unii ar spune chiar că ‘prea multă bunăstare moleșește’. Nici asta nu mi se pare a fi vreo certitudine. Îmbătrânirea demografica apare și în Rusia, care, cu toate progresele făcute, nu poate încă rivaliza cu țările din Europa de Vest, precum și în Grecia, țară cu mult in urma Germaniei la capitolul nivel de trai si doar cu foarte putin in urma ei la capitolul fertilitiate – 1,3 copii nascuți la o femeie față de 1,4, in 2013. România, la aceiași dată, înregistrând aproape 1,4, adica undeva intre Grecia si Germania – cu toate ca nivelul de trai este semnificativ mai mic decât în oricare dintre acestea două.

Pe de altă parte sunt unele tari cu un nivel de trai foarte ridicat care nu suferă de această problema. SUA și Israelul de exemplu.

Grupa necesităților psiho-sociale – adica cele care isi gasesc implinirea in etajele 2, 3 și 4 ale piramidei, pentru care este nevoie de colaborarea celorlalți membri ai comunității și, mai ales, care determina hotărâtor modul în care fiecare individ va reacționa odată ajuns la ‘etajul’ la care se face ‘reevaluarea sinelui’ – unde, printre altele, individul ia decizia de a face sau nu copii.

Aici am ajuns exact in zona pe care o menționau Ana Măiță și Vasile Ghețău.

Infrastructura de care vorbea reprezentanta Mamelor pentru Mame este un construct social. Este nevoie de o cooperare instituțională bine pusă la punct pentru ca necesitațile despre care vorbea ea să fie îndeplinite iar suplinirea lor la nivel individual cere eforturi aproape supraomenești.
În același timp exact la acest nivel – cel al cooperării sociale – sunt edificate și așteptările indivizilor care compun o anumita comunitate. Iar dacă rromii, de exemplu, au fost învătați de către istorie să se bazeze doar pe ei înșiși și să nu se aștepte la prea mare sprijin din partea celor din afara comunității lor restrânse, marea majoritate a celorlalți au alte așteptări de la societatea din care fac parte – așteptări născute tocmai din și în timpul interacțiunii cu conaționalii lor precum și din normele social-culturale prevalente la momentul respectiv în comunitatea analizată.
Tot la acest nivel este constatată problema – scăderea natalității – și propuse/luate măsurile prin care societatea încearcă remedierea ei.

Ori, dacă așa cum ne atrage atenția Vasile Ghețău, acționăm înainte de a înțelege cu adevărat ce ni se întâmpla, s-ar putea ca rezultatele intervențiilor noastre să nu rezolve, cu adevărat, mare lucru.

Și, de fapt, mi-e tare teama ca nici măcar rezolvarea formala a celor sesizate de Ana Măiță nu ar fi suficient. Ar fi, evident, un mare pas înainte. Precum și o indicație, chiar dacă indirectă, că ne aflam pe drumul cel bun – către un nou ‘proiect de țară’.

Căci, până la urmă, asta e diferența între Israel/SUA și celelalte țari ‘dezvoltate’. Cetățenii acestor două țări, Israelul și SUA, Americanii într-o măsură din ce în ce mai mică, mai știu încă ‘pentru ce trăiesc’. Chiar dacă ‘visul American’ nu mai e chiar atat de mobilizator – mai ales pentru americanii înșiși – acesta este încă suficient de puternic pentru a ‘energiza’ masele către viitor. Tot așa marea majoritate a Israelienilor știu pentru ce trăiesc. Măcar pentru a-și apăra țara proaspăt regăsită.

Dar noi?!?

Noi pentru ce traim?

Ce vise ne propunem să indeplinim?
Ce poate visa, in mod rezonabil, un cetățean obișnuit al României?
Ce planuri îi sunt propuse, la nivel comunitar sau național, de către figurile semnificative care trăiesc în contemporaneitatea sa?

Ce fel de țară a primit, Românul de rand, moștenire de la părinții săi?
Ce fel de țară pare condamnat să lase în urmă, indiferent unde și când va pleca?
De ce ar mai aduce pe cineva pe lume, AICI?

About 8 years ago a girl meets a guy and they get married.

After four months her family intervenes and helps her get out of a dysfunctional relationship.

He starts another one, has a son, and later kills 50 people in a gay bar some time after a gay couple kissed each-other in front of his child.
“They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.”

Isn’t this whole thing very descriptive of the situation we are facing now?

Her family noticed something was wrong – he was abusing her – and helped her out.

Eight years later – after having another relationship, after being investigated by the FBI and issued a gun permit – he snaps and kills 50 people.

Where was his family? His friends? His neighbors? His co-workers?

“In other words, Mateen who according to preliminary reports, had been on a terrorist watchlist, and who still managed to obtain weapons thanks to his various licenses and permits just last week, was employed by one of the world’s largest security companies”.

More than 100 years ago, Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, discovered that suicide, while being a very personal decision, is heavily influenced by the strength and quality of  the social relations that connect the concerned individual to the rest of the society.

I’m not going to argue now that most acts of terrorism, specially the ones perpetrated in the last 20 or 30 years, are of a suicidal nature. They are but this is a somewhat different problem from what I have in mind right now.

What I’m afraid of is that we, in the West, are killing ourselves.

As a society.

We have stopped caring about the guy next door to the tune of no longer being able to notice that he has become crazy and is about to start shooting.

Left and right.

Us.

Let’s wake up, before there will be no one left to answer the phones.

phones ringing

Islam Europe

I’ve just found this cartoon in my e-mail.
It was captioned: “The Winning cartoon in an organized competition.”

I instantly remembered some very wise words I’ve read long time ago:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will, I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against that person on the Day of Judgment.”

All religious teachings, all of them, maintain that ‘a man reaps what he sows’. It doesn’t really matter if the ‘result’ will come as a sentence delivered by a divine judge or if it will be just another bead in the string representing the life story of an individual.
I, for one, don’t see much difference between ‘fate’ and ‘karma’.

Then how come we keep acting as if we’ve never been warned?

“In my two visits to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp in Poland, I learned that holocausts and genocides do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, there is almost always a vicious campaign of incitement directed against the target group preceding them. What is troubling today, with the recent uptick in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents worldwide, is that extremists and zealots are not the only ones inciting their followers. In a number of Arab countries, Muslim children are taught ideas that distort the true meaning of the Quran and hadith too.”

o-gay-prophet-570

Love, more powerful than hate.

For how many times each of us has moaned, in true disbelief, ‘why is this happening to me?’. Or at all.

“I emerge from this conversation dumbfounded. I’ve seen this a million times before, but it still gets me every time.
I’m listening to a man tell a story. A woman he knows was in a devastating car accident; her life shattered in an instant. She now lives in a state of near-permanent pain; a paraplegic; many of her hopes stolen.
He tells of how she had been a mess before the accident, but that the tragedy had engendered positive changes in her life. That she was, as a result of this devastation, living a wonderful life.
And then he utters the words. The words that are responsible for nothing less than emotional, spiritual and psychological violence:
Everything happens for a reason
. That this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow.

That’s the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it is categorically untrue.”

In a sense the post that prodded me into writing this (Everything doesn’t happen for a reason by Tim J. Lawrence) is akin to a self supporting fallacy coupled with the kind of honest, well intended error all of us somehow feel is wrong at the very time we are doing it yet we cannot help ourselves to stop doing it.

So, why is all ‘this’ happening to us?

Basically there are three main stances on this.

The staunch believers are convinced that there is a grand scenario that ultimately decides our fates, down to every minute detail. You can find here, mingled together, religiously motivated people, convinced that ‘God’ has preordained their entire lives well before they were even born, rubbing elbows with the scientifically minded who are convinced that everything that  had ever happened went on according to an uninterrupted chain of causes and effects which can, only if we were able to find out how, be followed down to the root of all things. To even before the Big Bang?

The amoral ‘happenstancers’ believe that  ‘Lady Luck’ is blindly leading us down the path to exactly nowhere, hence ‘it’s up to each of us to make the best of it’. Sometimes up to callously disregarding everything else but their own whims.

The agnostics have figured out that while it is impossible to know/understand the ultimate cause for anything, from time to time it happens that each of us has a glimpse of understanding about something. And that however incomplete, that piece of understanding might  prove itself to be useful, even if temporarily.

Most of you have already noticed that the first two positions are at the very extreme ends of the spectrum and are held, in earnest, by relatively few people.
And that most of us – despite our professed affiliations, belong, in reality, to the third category.

Before proceeding any further I’m going to make a small detour here and note that ‘science’ itself was invented by Christian scholars trying to make sense of God’s ways. Hence no wonder that the ‘scientific minded’ cannot see eye to eye with the ‘believers’ – new converts are looking down in disdain to their old religion, and that both partake in the conviction that ‘there must be something behind what is readily visible’.

The link between all these three categories, between the first two who already have a strong conviction about things and us, the run of the mill people who are sometimes taken aghast by what is happening in our close vicinity, is that all humans need to make at least some sense of things before learning to live with them. And with their consequences.
And since no two normal people are alike there never was a one size fits all narrative able to cover, efficiently enough, all situations that ever occurred to us.

That’s why I simultaneously agree with Tim that the best thing to do when something happens to somebody I care about is to simply say I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you. and disagree with him when he says that all other things that get said in times like those are wrong.

The fact that my experiences/opinion on the matter happen to fit his doesn’t mean that we are both right, nor that our take on things that already happened to us might fit all other things that might happen to all other people. So I find it just a little presumptuous to discard all other opinions simply because they are different from ours.

Now, that I’m nearing the end of this post, let me discuss a little the pretext shared by both our posts: ‘Is there a reason for anything?’

Well, the answer for this depends heavily on what you mean by ‘reason’.

Is there a cause for anything? Most certainly ‘yes’, regardless of whether you believe that that cause to be divine, completely aleatory or any combination of these two.

Or is it that we’d better ask ourselves if there’s a ‘motive’ behind what’s happening to us?

Another thing that is common to most people is their tendency to blame others when thinks go bad and to claim more merit than it’s their due when things go well.
That’s why so many of us find it difficult to assume individual responsibility for our own mistakes and for putting ourselves in harms way – even when that responsibility is only partial.
Along the same psychological mechanism many of us cannot accept the very notion of ‘blind’ bad luck. While cashing a lucky lottery ticket is accompanied by nothing more than a self congratulatory slap on the back, and no soul searching questions get to be asked on the occasion, every time we as much as catch a cold in a very bad moment we wrench our hands in self deprecation: ‘what was it in my head that drove me to go in such a germ infested environment?’.

So, while I cannot rule out the existence of the famous Grand Design that I mentioned earlier, it seems obvious to me that only some things happen for a motive. Or that sometimes there are one or more motives which tilt the table in a direction or other. On the other hand what each of us does in each circumstance might have a huge importance. And sometimes both our efforts and the ‘motive’ responsible for the general set-up are rendered inconsequential by some haphazardous  occurrence.
For instance Romania endured the Soviet yoke simply because of its geographic position, because Stalin-ism was an aggressive creed and because the West was too tired shortly after the WWII to do something really meaningful about the Soviets extending their influence beyond where it was welcomed. At the same time the manner in which communism had influenced our destinies depended a lot on individual decisions – ‘theirs’ but also ours – and on pure luck.

That’s why I fully endorse Tim when he says that it’s extremely important for us to act appropriately whenever something nasty happens to those living inside our reach and that we should carefully select those whose presence we accept around us when something nasty happens to us, while I cannot accept his insistence that there is a single ‘appropriate’ behavior in all circumstances.

 

%d bloggers like this: