I, like many others, have a burning desire to DO something for the world, and I try to do my part every day at work. The last couple of years I have also been reading many books about issues related to the world today, and watched documentaries and movies that also inspired me. After some time, excitement rose as I understood how ideas, psychology and internet have the potential to accomplish things we could not before. Some people say it`s too many bad things out there, we can`t do anything, anyway. I simply believe that is not true. Those words are uttered by bullies not affected by people starving and losing their jobs, as long as they can fly their jets, live in mansions and wear expensive suits.
From working with traumatized people, some of the most lovely persons I`ve ever met, and feeling the unfairness of people USING their kindness and warmth against them, making them feel bad and unworthy, when in reality the roles could have been reversed. Also reading about how psychopaths can climb to high positions in the society EXACTLY because they don`t fear stepping at toes (Watch the documentary I am Fishead for more on this) scares me even more. But, remembering that just 1 – 2 % of the populations truly have no conscious (still the number is so high that we all will encounter one of them quite often. The staggering number is still big when you think about how many people inhabit this planet. Some have even noticed that capitalism is as built for psychopaths, what do they care if Greece goes bankrupt as long as they get their cash and power?
All this made me realize: People trying to make the world worse, will always be a challenge, but they will NOT accomplish this if others protest. The internet makes this possible, and by spreading an attitude of compassion, we can work against this tendency. In his book, “Defense Against the Psychopath,” author Stefan Verstappen outlines the greatest and stealthiest danger in the human jungle. Leaders throughout history – the people we vote for – are rarely moral leaders. For them, lying is as easy and natural as breathing. It is completely unnerving and rattling to face the fact that someone can have absolutely no empathy. This realization is so frightening, most would rather go heavily into denial and fantasize that our helping them succeed is a good thing.
“Because of the tremendous destruction psychopaths reap on society, it is vital for everyone to be aware of their existence and to recognize their behavior traits. Understanding them is the first step to defending oneself against them.”
And terrible things happening right under our noses, has always been a fact. Think about the Khmer Rouge, that in five years time slaughtered about one third of the population (if you ever go there, visit the museums and graveyards, they still find bones from people buried) and even more recent: North-Korea and the suffering people are going through RIGHT now because the communist regime run by the Kim family has had the power to frighten and subdue his “people” who once believed (and many still do) that the Western countries only try to do harm (Check out this book for personal accounts of the atrocities)
This might evoke a feeling of helplessness in us, but when we think about it, the internet has given us so many possibilities to share what we know, and protest along with others who have the same (healthy) targets of an equal world, that we are in reality more powerful than ever. There are several “movements” growing, all of them protesting against war, racism and inequality. The mass protests in Egypt is a very recent example of how it is possible for people to really do something against problems, if they just get together and find each other. Remember I wrote about the slaughtering of people in Cambodia ? The reasons were often random, and you or your family could be killed if you not “confessed” under torture that you were not sympathizing with the ruler and the system. There is even a protest recently (June 2013) in Cambodia from the surviving people of the Khmer Rouge when their leader tried to deny what had happened from 1970-1975, by saying that the prisons made were just “staged”. “If these things really happened, why would the Khmer Rouge not destroy the evidence? ” Well, the survivors and stories are real, no one can stage a tower of skulls, several pictures,prisons and stories. And even if they could, why would they? I have personally talked with a lovely humble girl who was lucky enough to get a scholarship in Norway, who presented me for her family who shared from their own food even if they had so little to spare, when I was in Cambodia.
Peace one day want to make one day a year, a “peace day”, and what about a “kindness day” ? Philip Zimbardo, one of the greatest scientists, have introduced Heroic Imagination Project where he encourage people to take heroic act. Do you know that often it is enough that ONE person protest, for others to join in? In fact, they found that the Milgram Experiment of obedience (where you must deliver shock to others) the willingness to do what they “felt” was not right, went down if they “by coincidence” saw somebody else say no. This means: It helps to follow your heart, when something is not “quite right” even if authority tell you something else. Some do anyway, because they trust their gut-feeling enough to do what feels right, but most people look at what others do (cognitive heuristics) because it is easier.
So, if somebody else does kind things for others, would you not want to, also? If your best friend always smiled at strangers, would it not be easier for you also?
But you need energy, to be there for others. For that reason: Take care of your own needs first! Many feel egoistic if they do, but it`s actually the other way around. By not taking care of yourself, you neglect the energy and happiness necessary for giving others what they need. If an oxygen mask fall down, take your own mask first. Not because you don`t care about your children, but because then you are more able to help others, afterwards.
“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
Remember the old cliché? “Take care of yourself first or you will have nothing left to give others.” Or, “ we can’t give what we don’t have.” But what is self-care really? Why is it so difficult and why do we feel guilty about doing it?
Genocide Museum of the Khmer Rouge (in Cambodia)
Psychopaths run the world
- Developers wanted for Peace Games scheme (develop-online.net)
- Treading the path to peace: London event explores ways of tackling conflict around world (standard.co.uk)
- Welcome to the Muslim Peace Day Project (meccastars.com)
- The Psychopathic Corporation – A Clinical Diagnosis (PCLR), by Dr. Robert Hare (humanchessdotorg.wordpress.com)
- Abusers are only afraid of losing control. If you get up, they fall. (forfreepsychology.wordpress.com)
- Khmer Rouge leaders say sorry for atrocities (guardian.co.uk)
- The Killing Fields (ogccambodia.wordpress.com)