Friday, September 13, 2013

Older and Wiser?

Hello Listserve:

I am considerably older than most of those who have already posted their messages on this site, and thus I have lost most of my armor of idealism . Much of this is due to the experiences I have had working as a Psychologist in Massachusetts mill cities for almost forty years. I feel I have seen almost everything humanity can offer. I no longer question whether something is good or bad; I just see it as fascinating.

There is nothing anyone can do that would surprise me any more. Anything my wildest imagination can produce someone out there is doing it, and they are doing it thinking it will bring them happiness or satisfaction. Most of the time it doesn’t.

I would give you all advice, because I know, better than Dr. Phil, what you should do with your life, but more than that I know that you wouldn’t listen. That's not how people change. Change has to come through emotional experience. Perhaps in three years you might think back and say, “maybe that guy was on to something.”

I am a big believer in the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Humans are a work in progress, an intriguing but flawed species. If you haven’t realized by now, please take notice: the world is almost always run by character-disordered people. Kings, Queens, generals, presidents, tyrants, business leaders, billionaires, market movers, and celebrates are usually greedy, power-hungry narcissists, or else they have that missionary zeal and are self-righteous. That’s not always true, only about 90% of the time.

Most people are basically kind and caring. They want to get along, have a few satisfying relationships – which is difficult enough-- contribute something to the good of the world and then relax and enjoy their family and friends. But then someone comes along who wants to grab power and take control of everyone and everything. He (it almost always is a he) identifies some small difference as a huge threat, then gathers a group of devoted followers to save his people from it, and everything goes downhill from there. Just look at history, and look at what’s going on now.

As I said, I am old, I am wise, and I know everything about human relationships. If you want an answer just send me the question. I won’t expect you to take my advice.

Donald Bermont
drbermont[AT]aol.com
Massachusetts

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