Tagged: society

A Lesson For Enthusiastic Students

Studying – that is NOT a boring activity and it seems to me a little problematic, that a lot of people still think/feel so. For example also not only a few current university students and their parents, who consider the university studies redundant and tell their children that they should better  “work”. The same opinion is very often shared by their already employed peers or the so-called “really educated” people – those, who don´t have a university degree (or they didn´t appreciate the process how they got it), but they emphasize the “school of life”.

I can partially understand the aversion to academic environment. Some fields of study tried to transform from too theoretical to more practical, but this wasn´t very succesful /in same cases only/. The reason why it didn´t succeed were not the outdated technical parametres of the learning rooms or the rooms itself because of their superficial non-qualities. The main reasons of the flop are mainly the academic. Or to be more specific – their mental and psychosocial settings. Those are the ones who are neither open to new trends, new methods and partially also nor to new people. (I mean to people who are  psychologically and in terms of research oriented some other way than the “classical, usual, non-problematic” ones.)

 Let´s deeply bow in front of the exceptions. And I know some. They bring a bright light into the academic halls, but unfortunately their torch is a little bit lonely…at least in the Czech Republic. Especially talking about the so-called “traditional fields of studies” the changes are very slow and no European project can provide that knowledge becomes skill. Students can be motivated strongly by the teacher´s personality, by pedagogical and psychosocial qualities of a teacher (which can be considered already as an offense at the faculties such as the Faculty of Law, Medicine of Philosophy.  It “smells like” pedagogy, which is “the easiest” and because of that “the worst” field of studies and no “real proffesor” should study this pseudoscience… – but this approach is the real problem.)

If you are enthusiastic as to your studies, but you don´t fit in the academic concept, you have to accept, that you won´t succed in your beloved field the way you dreamed about it before. You have to redefine your dreams, redefine your goals. Let us just be a little more creative. 🙂

Studying shouldn´t be only a life period for the really enthusiastic ones among us. Studying is a type of lifestyle. A lifelong process of self-improvement. Studying of any kind shows us how to understand ourselves and the world better. Take me… I love communication and everything connected to it, I am very interested in spiritual growth (I try and practise different approaches from my childhood due to background in the family), I love dancing…so…should I make just one course in each of these fields and then quit it? NO WAY. So that is the nature of studying…

If you are already crazy for studying, I have a tip how to concentrate better and better.  New surveys verify, that ambient helps. Well, I love this type of music…ambient tunes us to frequencies, that benefit everything connected to concentration. Generally we feel very well whilst listening to any type of (individually) convenient music, because dopamine is released.

So find for example the best ambient for your concentration (I like organic ambient – combining electronic beats and acoustics, psybient – combining ambient and psytrance or nature inspired ambient). I love chillout more than ambient actually, but again – it has to be the right one.

I wish you success in everything you want to achieve in your life. If you have any comments, feel free to write them here or use my Twitter profile. Lucie*

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Iveta Bartošová – next “media hunt” victim

Few days ago I heard a voice from the radio: “The famous Czech singer Iveta Bartošová comitted a suicide, when she jumped under the train. She wrote a good-bye letter for her partner and teenage son, in which she writes – you are already a big boy, you can handle the situation…and you, my Love, I am waiting for you on the other side…” Iveta decided to end her life the way which is not typical for women – as to the statistics. Women are more likely to use some pills or…knife. At least in the Czech Republic. But Iveta tried this already in the past, so this was something like the next step.
Truth is, that her life in the last few years was literally tragical. She didn´t walk, talk, look like a confident woman. Having ups and downs she seemed a bit confused and very vulnerable. She was a pitiable woman, “occasional” alcohol and pills addict. If you would compare your life to life of Iveta, you would feel very satisfied and your worries and stress would seem to be nonessential. When I saw Iveta on TV occasionally, I felt just deep compassion. Partially she was a disallowed or underestimated artist, altough she still had a great potential.
Her creativity was not “wanted in public” in the last years. (Not like in the eighties and nineties, where she was one of the most important divas in the showbiz.) This is one of the worst things that can happen to an artist, actually. It is something like a death penalty for a creative person. Artists are special people… a “normal” person doesn´t hear so many inner voices, doesn´t lead inner dialogues, doesn´t contemplate about life and death, about colours around us, about sounds, connections…about the butterfly flying around you, about the nice smell of the apple pie that your neighbour just baked…
 
Artists do this…naturally. They don´t actually “do” it, it is done through them. They are hypersensitive beings, which makes them to enrich the lives of other people due to almost unlimited fantasy, but also to great inner tensions and it makes them very often think about the meaning of life, and also about suicide or about some self-destructive behaviour (just because they want to feel they are really alive and feel pain or passion). Almost a maniodepressive way of an artistic existence is a natural part of the artist´s soul. The question is, if they fullfill their “task” before leaving or not. I have to say that I am convinced, that life that has ended before the 30th year doesn´t have to be automatically a wasted young life. Nevertheless – it is an early “checkout”…
Let´s remember Amy Winehouse – in the last period of her life she was more like a living ruin, but also a singing Goddess, who just couldn´t handle all the drugs. Any drug addiction is a type of self-destructive behaviour and using the drugs is in a way a small and every-day suicide…
Let´s remember Kurt Cobain, whose dead is a bit mysterious also today. And what about Jim Morisson? What about Philip Seymor Hoffmann to name one of the last victims? As to the Czech context – let´s mention the singer Petr Muk (fascinated by spiritual practice and maniodeppressive at the same time, he is in the picture lower) – he died when he combined pills and alcohol. At night he suffocated during deep sleep with his vomit. (a link to Marylin Monroe?) I would like to mention also the very talented film, musical and serial music composer Karel Svoboda, who shoot himself such as the excellent actor Vlastimil Brodský. These two men were already older, in their sixties. Let´ s remember all the ones, who couldn´t handle their creative passion and the typical media hunt on talented and “commercialised” people-products. 

I would love to wish all of them to be finally happy, wherever they are. The most important information for ourselves is, what do these stories REALLY tell us, what is the statement for us and our existence. What do they prompt us to, motivate us to…what shall one do and what maybe not…where to put one´s energy and where not…how fullfilled is our life?

For the media these are strong messages, too… How much do you influence lives of the so-called celebrities? How can they exist without you, and/but how do they exist WITH you, with your presence around them? To find and assert the right way how to treat celebrities correctly and not ruthlessly – this is the topic in the times when the most sold magazines are boulevard magazines…in our capitalist time…

***Iveta, you little tired girl, have some rest now, rest in peace. You did everything the best way you could.***
 

Attractiveness Today

Am I good-looking? This is a question often asked by women, but not exclusively. On the contrary we live in the world, where also men are already pushed to look better and better every day. Yes, true, we can feel better, when we look better, but mostly when our happiness grows during the others appreciate our look.

Obsession with the visage has always existed…but  nowadays we live in a very special period. We are manipulated by lifestyle magazines, TV shows. Our family and friends come up unceasingly with some suggestions concerning our “visage upgrade”. Surveys try to persuade us how important it is to be attractive in everyday life and communication. We are said that the attractive ones are helped more often and better, when they for example faint in the street, the attractive ones sell more, to be attractive is more or less a mantra for some of the “representative positions at work”.

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True – physical appeareance is a part of our nonverbal communication. And we evaluate up to 75 or 80 % of the communication with our eyes, which is a paradox. We all evaluate one another all the time. Among others we analyse what are we (or they) wearing, what to wear for this and that occasion, what to do with the hair, make-up, if a man should wear a tie or suit or what…and do I have a chance with my face? With my babyface? Which – again the survey tells us – is a sign for the others “don´t give this person any important position, don´t let him be the leader, it´s a child” 🙂 Should I go for the audition with my belly? Will I ever find a partner, when I suffer from acne and the others uncousciously think that I am ill? These are the thoughts that a very average, let´s use the unpopular term “normal” person has…why not to verbalise it?

Once I saw a B movie – Johnny Handsome from 1989.  Mickey Rourke plays there a man who has a genetical malformation of face. The only person who speaks to him as with a “friend” is a criminal, desperate guy, hustler…and his girlfriend – a hooker. They practically abuse poor Johnny for criminal activities. Once he gets to prison and there he gets beaten, so that he has to go to the hospital. His doctor there offers him participation in one project – he wants to make him a new face, Rourke´s face, and let him start new and better life. The authors of the movie react to a survey, that said: people very often meet the “wrong” friends, because they are frustrated from their own physical qualities and they think they don´t deserve anything/anyone better. The doctor is interested in the experiment and patient accepts it.

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So there is a question coming to my mind…if anyone would give you a chance to change your life  (physically), if anyone offered you plastic surgery for free, would you do it? What would be the real motivation? Where do you want to succeed, but you can´t, because (you think) you are limited by your physis? Can we balance physical imperfectness (which is a very tricky term) with our psychical power, intelect, inner energy? Or is this possible only till some percentage of physical imperfectness?

Maybe that the time when the body becomes the nice, but extrinsic quality, comes. Consuming (and also consuming the physical beauty around) seems to not fascinate people so much anymore. I mean the real people. WHY? Because many people start to resemble each other in a very weird way. Thousands of overdimensional lips meet the same square nails, too long hair, not really moving bigger boobs… The desire for perfection makes its seekers and its consumers kinda tired already… Perfection is an illusion, its parametres change or are different land by land, continent by continent… Plastic surgery and botox stop fulfilling their functions at some point. On the contrary, it can transform from the solution to the real problem.

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It would naturally be beautiful, when all of us could say – I am a part of the principe, that ancient Greeks called kalokagathia. I am good, beautiful, I have demanding values and I promote them the nonviolent way. Or also I am beautiful, becase I am good, kind, spunky, virtuous.  So why not so many people consider themself as kalos and agathos? Is the beauty of our bodies a requirement for the beauty of our souls and reverse – as the ancient philosophers said? Can the good old plastic surgery really change our life and maybe change us innerly in a better person, because we are happier, more satisfied and maybe more succesful for some time? Is our time really prepared for the imperfect perfection?

Everything is connected with the tolerance to diversity. We can discuss what we want to, but the fact is, that this quality exists more often in bigger cities than in smaller villages, in more colourful then in more homogenous collectives and so on. The other source of “problems” is photoshoping everything and anything. It doesn´t matter that the model sometimes doesn´t have some fingers, when she holds her perfectly formed hips and her too thin waist. It doesn´t matter, that the model is Asian and has some “non-asian” eyes and her legs are soooo long.

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We are continuosly bombed by perfect pics in perfect settings. Also the sea is kinda more blue, the sunset more impressive… And we prefer to have more beautiful to “not so beautiful” pics in our photoalbums. It is like a big gallery of human bodies and faces, a big gallery of perfect settings. And some of them get “liked more often” We know about it and we play the game, too. We confirm the asocial character of social networks.

If we want to know more about non-physical parametres of other people, we have to engage in real social activities. We need to see people, to be aware of people around us. It seems banal, ha? 🙂 But how many of us have some regular social activities? Do you contact also some other people than only the ones that you know? Just so? Do you talk to people? Do you smile on them not because it is polite, but because you want to? Are you really every day looking for some other values than “measures”?

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Real social life helps against the fixation on physical perfection. It helps us to see the different qualities of people and shoddy qualities of false nails or hair… Well – under the condition that our socialisation is not realised in environment, where exactly this is a standard for a “good person”. If you are a part of such society, I can only wish you from my heart, your purses, nerves and counsciousness of your real values last as long as possible. 🙂

P. S.: Do you know about www.faceresearch.org ? A very interesting project, which shows how does it look like, when you take the faces of typical citizens of different nations and create an “average face”. This project started due to Collin Spearse.

Manipulation And Egyptian Mythology

What is manipulation? It is when…we move someone´s body, soul or mind the way we need it. It is a feature usual in every field of human existence. And the truth is, that we tend to make ourselves better. We all are manipulated, but we all are manipulators, too. We have to deal with manipulation like with stress or lying. Depending on the context we can find it on a scale from /rather/ positive to /rather/ negative.

Let´s have a look at this context: at work. When someone counsciously applies /rather/ negative manipulative strategies, which are the so-called dirty play/s/, is it really beneficial for that person? Can s/he really work in the same collective of people as a satisfied person, achieving the goals s/he wants to achieve, being seen as excellent, reliable, good colleague, good person? Can s/he have a good position in the society and remain it in the long run?

 Male operating puppet controls --- Image by © Chris Whitehead/cultura/Corbis

I often hear “the one who doesn´t steal, steals something from his/her family” or “only the weak ones don´t attack the others” and as to the managers I often hear also this phrase: “we can always get some people to work for us, don´t worry”. Each and every from these opinions would at least partially support the negative path of humankind. BUT – if you answered with NO, you share my point of view.

The so-called corporate manipulator is usually a good observer. He needs a plan and to this plan he needs informations. He finds them cunningly. You can imagine him as a clown at a party for children. This clown takes a colourful balloon and forms it to an attractive shape. He uses this shape then for manipulatin reality, he doesn´t tell the truth /which doesn´t imply he lies – he is just not telling the truth 🙂 /, he uses argumentative trickery, double-bind, communication maneuvres. S/he asks mean questions in the “right” moment, “accidentally” on purpose. In fact he is not a team player, because s/he ignores other´s needs. If s/he is a team player, then s/he needs something for her/himself FROM the team. I want to highlight now, that I am cummulating here the worst versions of acts and that in real life we can see it most probably like features and details.

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If the manipulator overacts and exaggerates, it also means, that his/her intelligence is not so high as s/he thinks. If some people reveal the tricky games, they turn their back on him/her. Or reverse – but when they turn face-to-face, they want to react strongly. The information about “snake on a plane”  finds its audience

The cards can change very quickly. How? That is something, that we find already in Egyptian mythology. Do you know the “revenge of Horus”? It is a part of the King´s myth as shown in George Hart´s books. Horus is the Egyptian God of light, the Sun, the sky. The symbol of Horus is the eye. Maybe also you wear it as a type of amulet.

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In this myth Horus is arguing with Sute(c)h – the God of war and freedom. What do they fight about is not important now. I want to talk about the principles of fight or an argument – we can solve the arguments in many different ways. And Suteh decides for a humiliating dirty game. He wants to humiliate Horus this way: he wants to drug and sexually abuse him. But his plan fails. Being adroit, Horus skillfully catches Suteh´s sperm in the act. He has it in his hand. (Metaphorically we can say that this caught sperm can symbolize any bad information, gossip, untruth).

You may be apprehensive now, that Suteh´s affairs cannot pay off. The community catches then his sperm for the second time – there is one very beautiful volunteer involved. 🙂 This volunteer takes his caught sperm and spreads it on his salad. This salad is served at a great feast to whom? YES, to him – Suteh. So – would you like to taste it? 🙂 AND THIS IS THE WAY HOW OUR BEHAVIOUR COMES BACK TO US IN REAL LIFE.  I want all people to understand, that everything comes back to us, sooner or later.

boomThe Gods in the story wanted to reveal the truth. Then they defamed the manipulator.  At work your God is your boss or a person in team with high moral and natural authority. Go to your God (or be your own God) and tell him…because this is the way how to keep the team healthy – communicate the problems. Open-door policy is a good strategy – if the only visitor is not the manipulator itself. It is all about the company as a mechanism – when your colleagues or your boss don´t have time to communicate with you, apparently there is something wrong. A long-term view says this cannot be the good strategy. 🙂

Remember Dave Lakhani´s principle 45/15. 45 minutes of total concentration, 15 minutes of communication, consulting… I would love to see passionate people at work, people with visions, with good mood, good vibrations…I know sometimes there is a bad day, but…it shouldn´t be every day.

happy work

On the other hand – training the counter-manipulation and maybe also assertiveness shouldn´t end in everyday conspiracy theories about our colleagues, searching for undercurrents, anticipating the danger and concentrating at every possible piece of negation. Generally – critical thinking is a good quality, but when it fluently transforms to paranoia, we have a completely different story to solve. 🙂

Be happy* Next time I will write about attractiveness in today´s world. @LuBarbapostolu

Police Obedience

Sometimes some special situations occur… those that surprise us. Positively, negatively, much, not so much…

What surprised me this Thursday? The fact that two police officers made me show them my ID. 🙂 Why? Let’s imagine this situation. I have a break and want to go out of the workplace and relax, to get mentally prepared for my next lecture. I am going to the square in the centre, I am there, taking my luxurious jacket off, putting in on the edge of the beautiful Holy Trinity Column, lying on it. Eyes closed, chilling, great pleasure… and this adorable view.

Just a gorgeous, ultimate relaxation, warm light, convenient noise around. And suddenly two heads over me asking: “Hello, are you ok?” I can tell you it was a little shock. 🙂 The police officers told me that someone had called the police line and announced that a lady may be not all right and she lies there without moving. So they have come to inspect the whole situation. Ladies sitting next to me were looking at the whole scene with sparkling eyes and open mouth. And me too, it was kinda weird. I ensured the officers that I am perfectly fine, we said a very nice good-bye to each other and I continued in my relaxation.

Maybe in two or three minutes they came back, telling me that they would need my personal documents. They explained to me that when someone makes a phone call and announces something, they have to see my documents and write down my name at least. Ok, I pulled out my ID, they get my name, next “convenient good-bye” and again – continuous relaxation. I practise active meditation/relaxation anywhere… urban style. 🙂

Actually, I don’t mind this happening. I just think they were not telling the truth. I assume the ones that noticed me were police officers behind the city cameras. They are just opposite the Holy Trinity Column in my town – I was lying there, right opposite to one of the cameras. I think they were more likely inspecting my breasts. So that would be a. Ad b – ladies who were sitting next to me told me that just one hour before there was one homeless man lying there without moving. No one announced his “case”, no one was interested in that man.

So what does it mean? That –if the homeless man would really have been ill or sick, he wouldn´t have had a chance to be “examined and  treated”? Or as they may have already been used to seeing him, but not me, did they come just to investigate the “special situation”? I – as a quite beautiful and well-dressed woman deserve to be treated and he doesn’t? On the other hand – I have to be inspected and he doesn´t because he is a part of the “homeless paradigm”? If I had been really sick…and someone would have seen it, consequently making the phone call…why wouldn’t the person have come to check the situation straight away? Had I been really sick and the police “action” had taken too long, wouldn’t it have been too late to do anything?

You know, this is quite a typical feature of communication in post-communist countries, such as the Czech Republic. People tend to not communicate difficult topics, solve problems and speak openly… solve some socially problematic situations personally. It could be a residue – something like a communist scar in us. Practically carved in our genetic code. A residue of the fact that during the communist era, anything too complicated to solve or discuss was supressed. It was advantageous not to meddle in anything, not comment on anything “controversial” and principally not to stand out in a crowd. The best positions were possessed by those ones, who sat in a row in the preferred position and angle so that they didn´t provoke anyone. Not looking like weirdos or like “suspects”. THANK YOU, BUT I DON´T WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS SYSTEM. I will lie there next time again. What about you?

@LuBarbapostolu