Noah`s Ark is one of the big blockbusters from Hollywood, there is so much advertisement that I probably will see it myself, not so much because of Hollywood, but because I`m quite curious when it comes to the story. I have never read the bible, and just know what we learnt at school (but a lot of that is forgotten already). I still don`t know what I think about religion, but I`ve realized that no matter what you believe, stories have their own power, true or not. One of the most powerful stories I`ve ever read (it still lingers in my mind) is The Woman Who Stood Naked Before Her Lover, and even if I`m still not sure why I loved it so much, I think the was the mystery and how I felt it told me something profound about life.
I think stories in the bible are popular partly because they have some of the same honesty and lessons about life in them. The story of Adam and Eve is so profoundly human, and symbolically its a piece of art people immediately respond to even if they never understood art before.
The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God” Pope Francis declared.In a speech that shocked many, the Pope claimed “All religions are true, because they are true in the hearts of all those who believe in them. What other kind of truth is there?
The reason that I wanted to write about Noah`s ark is because I saw a news channel this morning, talking about the Noah`s Ark museum in Denmark. The point is to teach people the story, without saying if it`s true or not. Some people who went there, were described as silent when they left the exhibition. “We think many are surprised, not because they suddenly believe in the story, but because they are impressed by the story and everything they didn`t know”.
I think we all need a Noah`s Ark every now and then. A place to feel safe, where we can be protected when it feels like we`re drowning. We psychologist don`t need to be afraid integrating metaphors and images from stories like these.
James Hillman, psychologist and director of studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich points out: “We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Therapy and the World’s Getting Worse”.
ike we literally might need some kind of Noah`s Ark soon, or tragedy will walk into everyone`s houses. The news of today could report that a Ebola virus has indeed been found, that is spreading without any vaccine available. I saw a documentary about the Ebola Virus: once, and it scared me so much I couldn`t watch more of it. I thought: This is really dangerous. It spread like fire, and you died fast. They have no closed the boarders of Senegal to reduce the problem. It reminds me a bit of “Inferno” by Dan Brown that I finished a month ago. Another book (Nothing to envy) I`ve read (it was recommended from a friend in United Kingdom) wrote about the state of North-Korea, and the stories I read also scared me.
This morning, the news could tell us that South and North-Korea has shot more missiles, and North-Korea has been clear on their unwillingness to cooperate. Another news item, was that FN Climate Panel had said that the changes we experience in the climate, will lead to more conflicts the next years. We have the problem with overpopulation, and the resources are dwindling. Russland is threatening Ukraine, and I`m afraid there will be less and fewer places where kindness is the norm.
Yesterday I interviewed and talked about the kindness project with several people. I went to a couchsurfer dinner with6 others (for example Kirstine Desian) and they said that it wasn`t usual for a lot of people to come, especially not if alcohol was involved. I was a bit saddened by this. Is this the only way people interact? Another new`s story focused on mental health, and even if many Danish people have psychological issues, it`s still stigma when it comes to mental health.
I hope that the reader feel helpless after reading this, because some do. They think: The world is in a bad state and there is nothing we can do. But is that true? I was surprised by the kindness I met when walking around in Copenhagen, and when I interviewed random people. We feel good when we do good, and many found it easier to remember things they had done to others than kindness other`s had showed them. In other words: We do like to give, and our memories stores those experiences more readily than getting something from. 10 points to altruism if you ask me.
We are already many in the kindness group, who have committed ourselves to reflect on and do small things for others.
One lecturer told us: If we`d helped only one person with mental health issues, to get better, we`d already paid for our studies. That is encourgaing, and shows the potential of kindness and helping others
its the… little things by MaxiKohan
Remember pay it forward? It might go slow in the start, but if everyone started to do one kind act in a month, what could that lead to? How many turn off the lights when earth hour comes?I`ve made a podcast, and if someone would like to join in, you`re very welcome. My dream is to pay people for doing interviews and writing about kindness, and I am not so far away from reaching that goal.
It can feel like the world is going under, and that Noah`s Ark can`t save us anymore, buy is there any harm in trying? I have seen so many people, ready to drown, that start to swim and find paradise on the other side.
The podcast: Acts of kindness
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)