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Seems Rather Straightforward Today


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Just a small comment here.  Ego vs. the alternative.  Seems like we largely don't address our own issues in this world. The unrealized, unrepentant, unaddressed, this we will call ego.  Given an attitude of humbleness and willingness to admit, address, learn, and move forward,  I would think this we could use a different set of words....grace, responsibility, emotional maturity, etc.

 

Appears like a multipronged approach to education is key.

 

 

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Self-awareness is a deeply important thing. It's not easy to see oneself clearly. This is psychological. The ego is a mechanism of the mind that protects us from despair. It however, tends to get out of control.. because we are fearful and live in a sometimes dangerous world. Our worldview and self-image is what keeps us able to function, mostly. The self-image (ego) can be and usually is quite distorted.

 

It's evolutionary... it starts with the entire clan mentality, for a very long time anyone 'different' from our little clan was a threat to our survival.. being able to blend and be recognized as a member of a clan was essential to our survival.. to the point where our pheremones will change to 'blend in' with our particular group - so they sense we are not a threat.

 

The ego is part of that mechanism, it protects us, but in modern society it can be less than effective... actually creating defenses where none need to be. Some of those defences are a 'feeling of superiority'... 'greed', selfishness... because we fear either being ousted from our 'group' and feel a need to prove our worth.. or we fear losing resources and grab all we can.. or at least get very upset when we think we may not have 'enough'.

 

Our self-image is a construct of the mind.. the brains way of creating a continuum of consciousness and identity. Without effort on our part to see this self-image clearly and make adjustments to it (humility and an acceptance of one's shortcomings and limitations) it becomes a bit of a dictator. Seeing the world through a certain perspective that is narrow creates more problems.. the less we can understand and relate to others, step outside of ourselves to see other points of view.. the more fearful we are and the harder we cling to our self-created illusions and become defensive.

 

This is apparent in the general fact that education seems to provide more personal security for people. The less or non-educated seem to act and react more aggressively in general, than those who are educated. (this is GENERAL, compare say, Sweden with the Congo) obviously there is also a resources facet to this. You are much more likely to be aggressive if you have enough to eat and you can sleep without fear of being killed.

 

When someone goes into therapy it's the ego and distorted perceptions that the therapist addresses. So you are right, it is our 'own issues' that need to be addressed. If we can't see ourselves clearly.. how do we even know we need to modify or change at all?

 

Thing is, this is a personal issue, unless one is so distorted that they are harming others (criminals) and it can not be imposed, only encouraged. Eastern religions have been saying this for a very long time.. go within, focus on the self, then you will be able to release it and learn to live at peace. Few actually practice this though... but I think over time it is getting a little better. Humanity, in general, is more self-aware. Hopefully we can continue to learn and evolve, and tame this evolutionary bug, before we destroy the planet.

 

I'm an optimist.. so I hope so.

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Obviously you haven't given this much thought.GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif   Thanks for making it more clear. 

 

I guess what is tiresome for me is constantly being in self-assessment mode.  After awhile,...just whatever.  Makes me perpetually tired.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I've also been trying to address the ego, become more self-aware as it were, and try to stop black and white thinking along with the should and should not thinking.It is SO hard at times, though.Yet the people who have succeeded in this quest seem to have the most success in their personal lives and careers.  Nothing seems to really get to them past the point it should. 

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For years I heard it said that one should not compare herself with others. But I think that is poor

advice. Without knowing how you compare with others in various spheres in your strengths and weaknesses

how do make a reasonably realistic plan for the near or distant future? It's foolish to set your sites

on some goal which you are not capable of achieving. This can be a serious problem for Americans in

particular, because it has been drummed into us all our lives that there is nothing we can't do if we

work hard enough for it. That's a good way to create a nation full of neurotics and depressives. We never were taught to learn and accept our limitations without feeling like a failure. bill

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Just a small comment here.  Ego vs. the alternative.  Seems like we largely don't address our own issues in this world. The unrealized, unrepentant, unaddressed, this we will call ego.  Given an attitude of humbleness and willingness to admit, address, learn, and move forward,  I would think this we could use a different set of words....grace, responsibility, emotional maturity, etc.

 

Appears like a multipronged approach to education is key.

 

"Unrepentant", you say. What is it I need to repent of? Should I repent of everything I made and drown it, then, so I can be like God?

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For years I heard it said that one should not compare herself with others. But I think that is poor

advice. Without knowing how you compare with others in various spheres in your strengths and weaknesses

how do make a reasonably realistic plan for the near or distant future? It's foolish to set your sites

on some goal which you are not capable of achieving. This can be a serious problem for Americans in

particular, because it has been drummed into us all our lives that there is nothing we can't do if we

work hard enough for it. That's a good way to create a nation full of neurotics and depressives. We never were taught to learn and accept our limitations without feeling like a failure. bill

 

Comparison is the thief of happiness, though. I understand what you're saying, though. A lot of people generally have the same goal: to be happy, to succeed in a career, find a steady sexual partner, love them, possibly start a family, save money or make a lot of money. Our goals are pretty similar with some people putting money above finding a mate, vice versa, etc.  Then when you start to compare you either see how much further people are ahead of you, get jealous of their job or their mate or their money or if you have all of that, a person comparing themselves to others and seeing how much more they have usually becomes rather full of themselves and loses empathy/sympathy for those that aren't doing as well. Some people just have that drive, had those really awesome parents, are incredibly lucky, etc.  Even with those that person still probably struggled and had a hard time succeeding in their personal quests so if you take all that away, it's going to still be a terrible struggle.  Then you add into the mix mental illness, abuse, etc.  Also, as you pointed out, a lot of Americans are never taught to accept our limitations without thinking of themselves as failures. 

 

So, I think comparison is good to a certain degree-- but you gotta hold back, too. Sometimes you just gotta focus on your life and goals and go for it. It can be scary and frustrating though and, oh what a slow process at times. 

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For years I heard it said that one should not compare herself with others. But I think that is poor

advice. Without knowing how you compare with others in various spheres in your strengths and weaknesses

how do make a reasonably realistic plan for the near or distant future? It's foolish to set your sites

on some goal which you are not capable of achieving. This can be a serious problem for Americans in

particular, because it has been drummed into us all our lives that there is nothing we can't do if we

work hard enough for it. That's a good way to create a nation full of neurotics and depressives. We never were taught to learn and accept our limitations without feeling like a failure. bill

 

That's a damn good point.  I read an article a while back about how the correlation between happiness and perceived class mobility compared with actual class mobility.  In societies where there was little class mobility, people were surprisingly happy.  They accepted their 'station' in life and didn't really worry about it.  In societies where there really WAS class mobility, people were also pretty happy- because their goals were achievable.  

 

But in societies like ours- where there's a perception of high mobility, but actual mobility is fairly low- we're the least happy.  Because we're taught to believe that our goals are achievable, and then we blame our own shortcomings we fail.

 

I've learned the hard way that it's a damn difficult process to move up the socioeconomic ladder- people born into a better situation can effortlessly achieve what's taken me years of hard work.  Intellectually I've accepted this- emotionally it's tough to swallow.  I've made real progress, and financially I'm doing better than I ever thought I would.  But I'm not sure that I'm any happier for it.  Matter of fact, some of the happiest people I know are uneducated hicks who barely make enough money to get by- they don't aspire to anything better.  They don't question their current situation and they don't worry about the world outside their immediate area- whatever they're told on teevee/radio is reality as far as they're concerned.  I envy them in a way.

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For years I heard it said that one should not compare herself with others. But I think that is poor

advice. Without knowing how you compare with others in various spheres in your strengths and weaknesses

how do make a reasonably realistic plan for the near or distant future? It's foolish to set your sites

on some goal which you are not capable of achieving. This can be a serious problem for Americans in

particular, because it has been drummed into us all our lives that there is nothing we can't do if we

work hard enough for it. That's a good way to create a nation full of neurotics and depressives. We never were taught to learn and accept our limitations without feeling like a failure. bill

 

 

That's a damn good point.  I read an article a while back about how the correlation between happiness and perceived class mobility compared with actual class mobility.  In societies where there was little class mobility, people were surprisingly happy.  They accepted their 'station' in life and didn't really worry about it.  In societies where there really WAS class mobility, people were also pretty happy- because their goals were achievable.  

 

But in societies like ours- where there's a perception of high mobility, but actual mobility is fairly low- we're the least happy.  Because we're taught to believe that our goals are achievable, and then we blame our own shortcomings we fail.

 

I've learned the hard way that it's a damn difficult process to move up the socioeconomic ladder- people born into a better situation can effortlessly achieve what's taken me years of hard work.  Intellectually I've accepted this- emotionally it's tough to swallow.  I've made real progress, and financially I'm doing better than I ever thought I would.  But I'm not sure that I'm any happier for it.  Matter of fact, some of the happiest people I know are uneducated hicks who barely make enough money to get by- they don't aspire to anything better.  They don't question their current situation and they don't worry about the world outside their immediate area- whatever they're told on teevee/radio is reality as far as they're concerned.  I envy them in a way.

Thinking of this video?

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

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Kolaida, Rank Stranger: Good points, both of you. Bertrand Russell wrote an essay about the American

competitive system, a portion of which stuck in my mind. (It takes a lot to stick in my mind today.)He was talking about the ubiquitous frustration and sense of failure many Americans feel who have worked

hard in their profession but, even though they have made a living, they realize that they have not

ranked anywhere near the top of their profession. Indeed, they may have landed in the middle or lower

half, despite the fact that they have given it their all. They have dedicated their working life to

succeeding in their work, but in the final analysis their achievements were "unremarkable", a euphemism frequently used to insult someone like that. They fully believed the myth that if one works hard

enough they can reach to top. But to those people who have reached the top levels of their profession,

these "underachievers" are failures, and the former are not too shy about letting these failures know

how they feel.

 

It is an American tragedy. It is expressed in the mantra: "Unless you're the lead dog your view never

changes." The high achievers do indeed look down on those they consider below them. And it is

absolutely true that respect for the winners is in no way diminished by the immorality of the

winners. Further, a high degree of morality has no favorable impact on those honest, hard workers who

are not "winners". While it is true that some "winners" were able to achieve what they did because of

where they came from, some are "winners" because they were born smarter. A lot of people would say that that's good; smarter people should be winners unless they blow it in one way or another. Maybe so. But

that does not alter the humiliation and embarrassment visited upon good, hard working people who have

done the best they can, only to feel and be treated like failures. This was why Russell did not believe free competition was the best system. But obviously, the promotion of underachievers to positions they haven't earned is not the answer. That's known as the "Peter Principle": The promotion of employees to their level of incompetence.

 

I don't know the answer to this problem which causes so many people to feel they are failures.

Perhaps some of you have some good ideas. bill

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