Be like water

Part of the zen approach to life is to be like water, to go with the flow (and not see yourself as the water drop but as part of the water). Water can be gentle and soothing or powerful and instantly destructive, but the gentle trickle can accomplish lasting change – as any limestone can tell you – while the destruction wreaked by loud manifestations of water often gets repaired pretty quickly.

Water adapts to its surroundings, takes the shape of what it finds, does not insist on being anything else.

I know (of) someone who is like the sea, made up of many individual waves of dark and light, among and under which many sea creatures play and lurk. He sees himself aptly as a work of art, of light and shadow. The brain is infinitely more fascinating than beauty, he says, as beauty fades and changes and loses its appeal, but the workings of the brain continue to intrigue.

Most people, however, only get to see the cute little seal who waves one of his flippers at them, and are oblivious to the rest of him. What they don’t know either is that he does not choose to be this way. It is simply what he is and like water, he goes with the flow, adapting himself to the circumstances, but he is also the rock in the middle of the stream that watches and influences the flow of the water around him.

Throughout my life, I have found that in times of turbulence, most people around you will rapidly flow away along the path of least resistance to seek easier surroundings. (I said “most people”, as not all will do this.)

When all you have to rely on is yourself, you may have to be like the rock and not allow yourself to be swept away or swept along. This, then, will cause sand grains and pebbles and smaller rocks to snuggle up, finding shelter behind you, in your wake, for a while.

We’re all like the water and like the rock at times, and at other times, we have no choice but to be like the pebble that seeks shelter behind the rock to get some rest and recuperate.

Eventually, each rock turns into smaller rocks, then pebbles, then sand grains, only to be turned into massive rock again later. And then the cycle repeats itself.

We are all different, yet we are also all really the same.

From the Tao Te Ching:

The supreme good is like water,
which benefits all of creation
without trying to compete with it.
It gathers in unpopular places.
Thus it is like the Tao.

The location makes the dwelling good.
Depth of understanding makes the mind good.
A kind heart makes the giving good.
Integrity makes the government good.
Accomplishment makes your labors good.
Proper timing makes a decision good.

Only when there is no competition
will we all live in peace.

Also from the Tao Te Ching:

Water is the softest and most yielding substance.
Yet nothing is better than water,
for overcoming the hard and rigid,
because nothing can compete with it.

Everyone knows that the soft and yielding
overcomes the rigid and hard,
but few can put this knowledge into practice.

Therefore the Master says:
“Only he who is the lowest servant of the kingdom,
is worthy to become its ruler.
He who is willing to tackle the most unpleasant tasks,
is the best ruler in the world.”

True sayings seem contradictory.

Send this man a birthday greeting, please

Thanks.

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The vilification of pigeons

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-49256251

Anyone who has one or more pet pigeons can tell you that assuming that pigeons poop all over the place, non-stop, is just as ridiculous as assuming that humans poop all over the place, non-stop.

We are a mammal species. 

We took pigeons from their (sub)tropical sea cliffs and spread them all over the world. Pigeons are immensely intelligent creatures. In many ways, they are smarter and more capable than humans.

In addition, birds have been on the planet immensely much longer than humans, and look what WE have done to the planet. Here are two must-watch documentaries:

An interesting watch

Prior to this, I knew a little bit about Aaron Swartz. That little bit probably boils down to “i knew the name, and knew it was something tragic, but I thought he was a HACKER”.

That it turned wrong for him after downloading tons from JSTOR – JSTOR, people! – was news to me, and I find myself deeply shocked and taken aback. If we continue to do this kind of thing to bright people, what the hell are we doing to the world? So let’s applaud the bright youngsters instead of criminalize them just because they are smarter than most of us.

Certainly still in the days that pertain to the stuff that was in JStor, the scientific publishing situation was even more dramatic than this documentary reveals. Scientists often had to PAY to publish their articles AND they still had to hand over copyright too, usually.

The institutions that produced the research were paying large sums of money to give their scientists access to the damn databases, too. (This was my job for a while and just about each year, some journals had to be axed for budget reasons.) Many scientists and most students working at universities were and probably still are not aware of this at all.

As a self-employed person carrying out studies for others, I’d run up costs of up to EUR/USD 2000, off the top of my head, just for access to databases and papers, for a decent-sized study. I had paid access to Ingenta and to STN (probably still do). Jstor was a minor player, operating in the fringes, as it only had back issues, no current papers, and not that many journals (and I seem to remember that many or most of them were free, too).

Though scientists having to pay to publish – on top of peer review and everything – has been decreasing, it seems to have been taken over to some degree by scientists now having to PAY for it if they want their articles to be open-access: available to the public.

Bottom line? Sounds like they mainly wanted to get back at Aaron Swartz for Pacer (and also for Wikileaks, though he had nothing to do with that). God forbid citizens should know what their governments are up to and how their own laws are being used and developed, eh? Never mind reading a few scientific publications.

I found watching this profoundly shocking. So shocking that I cried. You’re warned. Now watch.

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The incident at the Tate Modern

Brain scans in order.

Let’s face it, no people in their right mind – with perfect brain health – would do something like this, knowing fully well they would get arrested and possibly put away for a long time.

Brain-based health conditions carry a huge stigma, but when you think about it that strokes, brain tumors and traumatic brain injuries can alter someone’s personality rather dramatically, you realize that it is the brain that creates any person’s personality and that we have relatively little control over it.

That idea makes us feel uncomfortable and that’s why we prefer to assign blame to other people’s brain-based conditions that make them do bizarre things such as throw a random young boy off a building. It simply makes no sense. Hence, there is some pathology at work here. Period.

What is the biggest enabler of child (sex) abuse and its effects?

Secrecy.

Others pretending that it is not happening and that it never happened.

Others wanting to hush it all up forever and ever and ever.

But the wish to “protect” the child or later adult in a way blames the child, if you think about it. It imposes a burden, one of shame and embarrassment, doesn’t it?

You do not hide the fact that someone had appendicitis or broke his leg as a child, after all, though the leg may still be weaker as a result.

Openness says:

“It should never have happened to you and you are not to blame and you are fine just the way you are. It had nothing to do with you as a person, just the fact that you were somewhere at a specific point in time where you encountered a specific person or specific persons”.

“Had you been somewhere else, it is very likely that nothing would have happened to you.

But once something did happen to you, the ball started rolling and it wasn’t you who was rolling the ball. You were the powerless ball.”

That it is not always quite as simple as this, I do know.

But the blame game has to stop. People who were abused as children have nothing to be ashamed of, just like a ball or a bucket or car tire or door cannot be blamed for getting kicked.

(Just some random thoughts that occurred to me with regard to two specific people I ran into in the UK.)

 

Landlords…

Never had any problems with landlords in the Netherlands. Never.

Had three in Florida. The first and the third were fine, but the second one was not and his attorney was rumoured to have mafia ties, I kid you not. But I heard that later. I think it was actually a legal aid lawyer who told me that who I talked with later, long after I’d moved out and his lawyer started pestering me. I’ll spare you the details.

My third landlord was the husband of the person I volunteered with on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. (He was a builder, built huge places, the way they are in Florida. Nice guy. I think he was in the US Army for a while, and they lived in places like Morocco. ) She stopped by one day – to bring me two birds – and was appalled and suggested I move in to one of their places. They owned a small apartment building that was mostly used by snowbirds (people from for example Canada who take winter vacations in Florida).

Some time later, I moved to Britain.

In Southampton, I knew several landlords. (Only one of them was mine.)

One said that only educated people were decent human beings, and I was too shocked to respond. He called tenants who rang him because the washing machine or heating wasn’t working (properly) “bad tenants”. This was not my own landlord, but someone I met within a business context and was friendly with for a while. Wasn’t actually a bad guy at all, strangely enough.

I also knew one who proudly told me how he had tricked an elderly woman with beginning Alzheimer’s out of her flat, I kid you not.

On another occasion, the same guy was talking with me about a new building he was constructing and then added that it did not have to be very good “as it is only for tenants”.

In Portsmouth, I’ve met two who dump rubbish on other people’s front courts and patios. I caught one red-handed and the other one admitted it.

I have principles.

If I can help make things better for people who come after me who are less strong in some way – okay, except physically as I am getting old and I am feeling it – I will try to do that. And that baffles the hell out of (most) Brits. But that is not my problem.

The tomato growers

Once there were two tomato growers. One was called James and the other one Gordon.

Gordon was very disappointed with his tomatoes. Every day, he would go to them and water them and check how much they had grown. Sadly, his tomatoes stayed pitifully small. He would twist them and squeeze them to feel if they were at least ripening a little bit, and accidentally dislodge one from the vine on occasion. It would drop to the ground and rot away.

Gordon felt something had to be done. So he purchased the best fertilizer he could find, with the right amount of potassium and all the other nutrients a tomato could wish for, and placed it in front of his tomatoes. He told them: “If you grow really really well, I will give you this fertilizer as a reward. This shall be your motivation.” It seemed to have no effect on the tomatoes. If anything, they were only growing at an even slower pace.

Gordon became even more dissatisfied with his tomatoes and started withholding water to see if that would convince the tomatoes to grow. But all that happened was that the tomato plants became infested with pests and he had to spray them with pesticides. (“Damn, that stuff is expensive,” Gordon grumbled.) It was too late. The tomato plants turned yellow and started dying. Gordon got very frustrated and kicked at the plants.

James, on the other hand, adored his tomatoes. He loved them! Every day, he went to them, and removed all those little sprouts from the armpits of the tomato plants and enjoyed that typical spicy tomato smell. That way, all the nutrition went to the little tomato fruits, not into making sprouts. He watered them every day, and made sure the quantity of water was just so.

He took care that they got the right amount of nice warm sunshine and on days without sunshine, he would provide artificial sunshine. He also gave them the right amount of fertilizer whenever they needed it. His tomatoes became famous. Everyone admired them. They were so beautiful, so healthy! His tomatoes seemed to be shining with joy. It was almost as if they loved James back and wanted to make him really really happy.

Gordon commented that life just is not fair and that there is nothing you can do about it and also that James had started growing his tomatoes a year earlier, hadn’t he, and that there were no pests at James’s location, and probably also a lot more sunshine. He knew it! Life ain’t fair! And he had never liked James much anyway.

James was not aware of Gordon’s grumblings at all. He found more than enough joy in caring for his tomatoes.


The above is from my e-book FCQ. It’s available from Amazon and other retailers.

About trust

“If you don’t trust people, you make them untrustworthy.”

Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching

Trusting people does not necessarily mean that you are naive, though some people may believe that people who trust others are naive.

If you go through life behaving as if you assume that all or most people are good, you effectively appeal to the good in people.

In principle, such a “naive” attitude probably allows you to be the best you can be independently of who other people are.

It is a much easier and nicer way to live than to go around expecting everyone to be bad people or intending to outsmart you.

From “When Cultures Collide” (Leading Across Cultures) by (Briton) Richard D. Lewis:

Pinkney C Froneberger III who passed away much too soon recommended this book to me, the first time we met, which was at a workshop about cultural differences in Utrecht, the Netherlands in May 2004.

We discovered that we were both members of the Amsterdam American Business Club. We were business partners for a while, but we also spent part of US election night 2004 in Amsterdam, at the Amsterdam American Book Center’s Tree House.

A month later, I moved to Britain, and so much changed for me. In 2010, when I was living in Nightingale Road in Southsea, I still had a long phone conversation with him. (I didn’t tell him why I couldn’t fly over to visit him. I should have because I think he felt let down by me.) It was probably the last time we spoke.

 

 

In-groups, out-groups, empathy, altruism, parochialism and disparity – but not necessarily hate

However, it can come across like that on the disadvantaged side of exclusive solidarity:

The Neuroscience of Hate: Rebecca Saxe from Petrie-Flom Center on Vimeo.

I find this talk very enlightening, also with regard to my own situation as a migrant in the UK. I will have to do some thinking about how I can apply this knowledge.

What Rebecca Saxe calls parochialism, I call exclusive solidarity (as opposed to inclusive solidarity). Rebecca Saxe’s talk also explains that scarcity – imagined or real, as opposed to having an abundance mindset – causes it. Parochialism. When you’re afraid that there won’t be enough for all, you will only want to look after your own.

In connection with this topic, this book by Kathleen Taylor, another neuroscientist, is very enlightening as well:

 

Stigmas

In my latest course, I also talk about stigmas, including the fact that I unsuspectingly became burdened with at least five stigmas after I moved from Amsterdam to England. It’s shocked and hampered me greatly, and it also taught me a lot.

My most embarrassing moments in this respect?

Finding myself wanting to emphasize that I am not eastern European “or something like that”.

Because even worse than being seen as a migrant was being seen as a migrant from eastern Europe “or something like that”, when I was living in Southampton.

“I am not one of them. I am one of you, I am one of us.”

I still cringe when I think back to it.

Nobody is immune to the destructive self-perpetuating power of a stigma.

 

This :-)

‘I was homeless. Now I’m one of the most senior female firefighters in the UK’

With a PhD in psychology.

Because the fire service saw her potential.

(That is an inspiring lack of “class views”.)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0766thh

We need lots more of this.

What can YOU do to support women more and spread the news that women are not “defective human beings”?

Portsmouth Police breaking the law again

They don’t have the time and resources to solve crimes against individuals, unless those individuals have been killed, but they do still have the time and resources to send two or three cars to follow me and hunt me through the city to play PacMan.

They love playing PacMan with migrants and with women.

They first did this to me in 2009. February it was.

Of course, when you call them out on it, they always say that they don’t have the time and resources for that kind of crap.

So on my way back, I walked up to the central police station in Portsmouth, and addressed its CCTV camera:

You. Need. To. Observe. The. Law.

The law!

 

That’s the kind of police we have in Britain – barbaric, lawless and abusive – for which we pay through our council tax. They’re straight out of a film of police brutality and incompetence of the wild-west US in the past.

Two or three police cars were following me all over town again yesterday evening, slowing down when they passed me, backing up and returning when I took a left or right, etc.

It’s happened  too many times before.

And this kind of crap takes up most of their time. Hunting down citizens who dare report crimes and who dare stand up against the utterly lawless British police. They don’t seem to do anything else but this.

I have on occasion stood by on purpose myself to serve as possible witness in police brutality cases when I saw them hunt other people. But they are too clever to attack people in plain public view, I am sure.

We pay for this harassment through our council tax. We pay for it ourselves!

Portsmouth has the highest CCTV density of the UK, so yes, police can hunt anyone through the city, in retaliation or just for fun.

I also got a creep on a bicycle after me, along Albert Road, to tell me that women deserve to go hungry, should not be allowed to own any property of any kind, should not be allowed to work and should not be allowed to earn a living, or even be healthy and happy and that they should generally keep their mouths shut.

I told him it was the 21st century, that the middle ages were a long time ago and I crossed the road. The kid was not even half my age. He should apologize to all the women he owes his existence to, starting with his mother, but he won’t see it that way, clearly. In his eyes, women are lower than cattle. Usable and disposable. Not worth shit.

In case you wonder what the hell I am still doing in this shitty hell hole, well, I’ve tried to escape four times already. I also sometimes foolishly think that I can help make things better here, simply through my presence.

Also, I had formally raised the issue about the problems with local police again this week. Some retaliation was to be expected.

This photo below shows you what my door looks like when I am not in, these days. Three locks on the inside, warning note on the outside and a barricade in front of it, to stop, eh, anonymous elements, from shimmying the locks and carrying out crap in my flat – which has been going on since 2011, with the approval of Portsmouth Police.

Updated on 12 July 2019
At the moment, I am not using the vacuum cleaner to block my door, but the basket and two older printers. There was a time when I believed there was a local person with a brain-related impairment behind it, but it’s more complicated than that.

 

 

Be gentle with yourself

Life is about growing and learning and never stopping.

And about looking after yourself. Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for what you don’t like about yourself or for what you could have done better.

For myself, I could have done some things better last Tuesday, when I was talking to a group of 14/15-year-olds, but as I can’t change that, there is no point on dwelling on it.

I was struck by how each of the youngsters representing their groups during debates (public speaking while being recorded on video!) had something else to give. Each had a different quality that was uniquely theirs and which they contributed to the whole.

Some were very passionate, others uniquely authentic, truly believing in what they said. Some sought to connect with individual members in the audience and turn what they were saying more into a dialogue than a speech. Some were looking inward for strength, others outward, and all of them had guts.

Some had some more practising to do than others, but they all at least had a little seed in them from which a beautiful plant can grow in the future if it has not already started yet.

They also all had made posters. I told them “Less is more” which I need to remind myself of all the time too, when I am writing.

A poster is a visual tool. One image says more than a thousand words, and five well-chosen words can convey more than a thousand all jammed together. Step into someone else’s shoes, a stranger’s and walk into the room, looking at your own poster.

It made me remember when I made my first poster. About the world’s first measurements of REE profiles in Antarctic seawater.

I was 30 or 31 at the time, preparing to go to a conference in Germany. I worked through the night, printing off the various images etc that I needed at the university, went home, ate my delicious cold cheeseburger with relish (figuratively speaking), slept for an hour, showered, then went to the train station.

Upon arrival in Germany, we were greeted with champagne! I had to be very careful to limit that to one glass only, and drink that very carefully! I was too tired to handle more than one glass as I’d had to stand most of the way to Germany, in a packed train. Heck, I had trouble handling that one glass. I remember hunting for some German rye bread that they were serving with it, to give the champagne some support.

I guess it was a little bit like that for these youngsters too. An adventure, not knowing what exactly to expect, taking it all in stride.

The brain has a natural negativity bias. Don’t let that get to you.

Asperger’s in practice

I have no experience with autistic people – as far as I know – and have been trying to develop some understanding, very slowly. I just ran into a top artist with Asperger’s and this documentary seems to show a lot of how it works in practice.

People thought she had brain damage. People thought “she couldn’t do much”. People kept telling her that.

The funny thing is that the Asperger’s makes her a “better” or talented artist. It is why she makes audiences cry. That and her musical professionalism.

(I did not know much about her, no, had never watched anything before, other than one short video clip once. I watched another one this evening in which someone talked about her emotional connection to the songs.)

Human diversity occurs along a very broad spectrum, with lots of overlap and variation, and there is still so much we don’t know about that. And all the minuses seem to come with their own pluses, one way or another.

The irony

Many years ago, I was one the very few people who used e-mail. Some of my friends were extremely resistant to the idea of e-mail.

Years later, it was those initially so reluctant people who could not stop using e-mail. No matter how many times I begged them to call me instead of e-mail me, I could no longer get them to call me.

Oh, the irony.

That is how you learn who your friends are and who aren’t.

If you turn yourself into a bunch of words on my screen, you could be anybody – or nobody.

Humans are more than just a bunch of words on a screen.

Talking to each other is so much more efficient. You can instantly catch and clear up any misunderstandings that may not even become evident until much later when all you choose to be is a bunch of words on a screen. And you can smile together. A trouble shared is a trouble halved – or so they say – but a shared smile definitely becomes amplified.

 

A story about a concentration camp or two

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Britain has a bunch of them too. And people can be in them indefinitely. Kinda like at Guantánamo Bay. An American concentration camp on an island in the Caribbean.

Shit.

The Netherlands used to have them too. (No longer, I think.) When I was still living in Amsterdam, a fire tore through one of them.

Why I sometimes call British culture “paranoid” or “narcissistic”

If someone writes to you “with the greatest respect”, isn’t it paranoid or an indication of extremely low self-esteem, hence possibly narcissistic, to believe that it means “I think you’re an idiot”?

That’s not “sarcasm”, folks.  That’s bonkers. Nuts.

YouGov survey: 
British sarcasm 'lost on Americans':

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46846467

So when a local shop owner suddenly started repeating “Don’t worry about it” a few years ago, I had no idea that it meant “Piss off!”, and I still have no idea why he suddenly wanted me to piss off either. I must have said something that he thought was intended as the exact opposite of what I said and meant?

Interesting is that before I moved from Amsterdam to the USA, I received some warnings/advice about Americans that turned out not to apply at all – for instance about the dinner invitations as mentioned in the BBC article – but I did later discover that some of it applies with regard to southern England.

For people in countries that don’t have English as their main language, the fact that British English is so vastly different from other forms of English can be really confusing.

There is also a thing in British English that we foreigners sometimes call hinting, and that people from other countries don’t get either.

I am not so sure that what the BBC writes about the British use of sarcasm applies to Scotland, by the way.

I do remember one occasion when I did catch the sarcasm. A year or so ago, I walked into a store to ask something and addressed someone whose last words to me before I left the store again were “and we’ll sort you out”.

What she meant was that they would teach me a lesson.

I suspect that I know what it was about and if I am right about that, then she considered the items she was selling “old junk”, felt that I had been comparing her to old junk by something I said (perhaps indicating that she was not very happy with what she was doing, even though I think she was an owner, not an employee).

This is typically British. Anywhere else, you’d be considered paranoid or otherwise not well in the head to have thoughts like these. Here, however, you are considered not well in the head – slow on the uptake – if you don’t get this stuff.

See how upside down the world can be and how tricky cultural differences are?

 

Breaking through the confusion about “narcissists”

In this very clear video, Sam Vaknin explains the distinction between the media’s and many people’s every-day use of the word “narcissist” – often meaning no more than “I don’t like that person” and/or “I am envious of that person” – and the personality disorder and elaborates on the variations of the disorder. (A related word that seems to be often intended to convey disdain is “co-dependent”.)

Sam Vaknin is blessed by his high intelligence, which often allows him to rise above his disorder to a large degree, but when you listen to what he says, in any of his videos, it remains important to discern when his disorder is doing the talking.

It can be quite confusing. Even listening to many of these videos, depending on your own situation (whether you have people with NPD in your life or not), you may start to wonder at some point about your own mental health… maybe because it makes you aware of how vulnerable we all are as humans.

It is always important to monitor your own behaviour in the company of people with NPD, to ensure that you stay grounded and don’t get swept away or pulled under by the effect someone else’s disorder has on you. Most people should be able to do that because they have the ego functions that people with NPD lack… except, when they become aware of the fact that they should have been doing this, they’ve often already been pulled under.

(Comparison that may help: When you are being targeted by a constant barrage of tennis balls from a row of tennis ball cannons, the only thing you are still aware of is the tennis balls and all your activity may become focused on dodging the tennis balls, getting hit, getting hurt and getting angry. The rest of the world drops away. That means that you are no longer grounded. There could be a bus shelter to the left, in which you would be safely shielded from the tennis balls, or you might be able to walk over to the cannons and pull the plug, but you are no longer able to notice that when you are not grounded.)

But Vaknin’s right: there is a lot of complete bullshit out there about the disorder and all it seems to accomplish is that it freaks people out and attracts a lot of angry people. People who feel angry would probably benefit more from going for a run or playing squash – or tennis.

By the way, psychopathy (a step further) appears to be promoted by war situations, by babies being exposed to the effects of war in the womb and when growing up. Brain chemistry. The brain becoming immune to some degree, and parts of the brain not developing. This could indicate that bombing countries in retaliation for terrorist attacks could lead to more terrorist attacks in the future. Something to think about.

The western world pays a lot of attention to attacks taking place on its own soil, for instance at train stations, but considerably much less to events such as Americans accidentally bombing a children’s hospital in, say, Pakistan.

A very complicated topic. What it all seems to boil down to is that the world is in need of more compassion and more empathy (I probably often mix the two up) – and less aggression.

Overweight air hostesses

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/pakistan-international-airlines-cabin-crew-weight-memo-intl/index.html

Ah, this rings bells too. In 1979 and in 1980 and 1981 or thereabouts, I applied to a few airlines. My mother had always told me I might want to become an air hostess because you get to speak a few languages and get to see a bit of the world that way.

I applied three times and I got three interviews. I think it was December 1980 when I was in a deadhead seat on a flight to Frankfurt. Yes, it must have been December, indeed, because I remember that there was a Christmas market at the airport. There was snow too. It was after my season at Amsterdam’s Tourist Office.

Upon arrival, we were all told to step onto a scale. I normally weighed myself in my underwear. My home scale said my weight was 58 when I sent in my application forms. I was now asked to step onto the scale wearing a blouse, a winter sweater, a lined tweed jacket, a scarf and a heavy lined plaid and pleated winter skirt. Their scale said my weight was 60 or 61. I remember that one guy’s weight was 5 kilos more than his application form had said.

While all of us candidates were in a room at a table, being addressed, the door opened and I was removed from the room. They told me that the weight I had listed on the form had not matched what their scale had said and that I was out of the process.

They treated me like a criminal.

I swore that I would never fly with that airline again from that day (but I relied on them to take me home again).

The guy with the 5 kilo discrepancy got to stay.

In retrospect, it was a good experience because I am pretty sure that I would not have enjoyed being an air hostess at all. Well, for a while, but not for long. Too many aspects about it, certainly in those days, that I would not have liked at all. But I didn’t know that then.

I am five foot seven, by the way.

Peace

It helps tremendously if you can VISUALIZE brain-related conditions for which other people tend to assign blame and make remarks such as that one should be able to grow out of it, admit it and seek help for it, and what have you.

It appears that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) simply lack part of the brain in which empathy is created (though it is not the only part of the brain that is related to empathy, apparently). If you can’t feel empathy for others, you cannot feel empathy for yourself either.

That explains the usual Catch-22 aspects of the condition.

This could also mean that/why people with NPD rely on notably empaths to “create” empathy for them. Symbiosis.

(People with NPD, by the way, lack emotional empathy, not cognitive empathy, apparently, according to a 2010 paper from the same research group.)

So, yes, the brains of people with NPD are wired differently. They did not ask for this, so stop blaming them. Look for what is good in them, and embrace that instead.

They’re like, hey, albinos. Or hey, people who go grey prematurely. Not their fault.

They’re like giraffes that people insist are, say, antelopes.

Or, like I wrote before, table lamps of which we demand that they change themselves into coffee makers.

Let go of it… All the frustration etc. It’s futile.

They are right. They are special. It’s part of the neurodiversity we have on the planet. (The brain is a miraculous thing!)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23777939

Now I am done waffling about narcissists in a rather chaotic manner. Continue reading