The Ugly Side…

 

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”The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.” Erich Fromm

Recent events in the world are enough to sum up the fact that humanity’s ugly side appears to be dominant. We are very quick to tear apart than build, we hate anything that remotely differs from our way of thinking. We want to love but find that so difficult, rather it’s easy to be suspicious, have zero empathy and yes, we find a safe haven in hatred.

James Carroll got it right when he wrote, ”we cloak ourselves in cold indifference to the unnecessary suffering of others, even when we caused it.”

Hatred brings out our ugly side when we hide behind our knowledge of what’s right and wrong. We believe our lives are somehow a priority compared to others and when we’re not having things going our way, we’re quick to complain, bemoaning our fallen state.

We’re also beautiful creatures, that is when we want to be. Imagine doctors risking lives and limbs to save Ebola-stricken victims in a remote village in Africa or people pooling resources together to save Syrian refugees from the freezing sea. That, is the beauty of human nature just to mention a few.

However, we all have ugly sides, if not, why do we have laws trying to curtail our nastiness from spiralling out of control?

I penned this article shortly after the Nice truck massacre, somehow I couldn’t publish it but it’s still relevant today. Most of the time,  it’s very difficult to comprehend when such tragedies occur, like the killings of African-Americans by rogue white police officers or the killings of thousands by the so called Isis’s mad soldiers or the time when Lord Gen Jeffery Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief of America wrote to Col. H. Bouquet to use Biological weapons (small pox laden blankets) in July 1763 against Native American Indians. He wrote, “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” Hitler wanted to wipe out the Jews and subject the world to his madness. In the end, I think our lives shouldn’t be mapped out based on such events no matter how sad.

Humanity is renowned for fortitude in the face of extreme violence. Hitler was keen to turn the world into a huge wasteland, but he failed, even though, in the process, millions lost their lives. The incredible thing I’ve realised is this, our ugliness and monstrosity would not prevail over the beauty and love inherent in us (this is where free-will comes in). That’s contradictory but it’s the truth. As Daniel Goleman wrote, ”societies can be sunk by the weight of ugliness.”

There’s real hatred in the world, just check social media where some segment of humanity compares others as inferior to them. It’s heartbreaking but over the millennia, it’s been part of the history of mankind, the pervading hatred, the palpable feeling of helplessness experienced by slaves which brought the brutal book, ‘The Heart Of Darkness ,’ written by Joseph Conrad to mind. More than ten million people had died in the Congo in the 19th and early 20th century under the rule of the notorious Belgian King, Leopold II. The Congo had been plundered and its inhabitants killed with ruthless efficiency. It’s one of the greatest acts of mass murder in human history. That’s humanity’s ugliness at its height. According to a review on Amazon, ”Conrad makes it painfully clear that the heart of darkness can reside within us all,” how sad!

Unfortunately, the killings in Congo is still ongoing, according to an article written by Owen Jones in the Guardian Newspaper on 6 March 2015, he lamented, ” African lives did not matter enough: a death toll of up to 6 million would surely not have been tolerated elsewhere. For the West, it is a country of little strategic importance.”

Overall, I still believe that our ugly sides can be tamed, maybe I’m wrong?

This article is open to debate, let me know what you think.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever you are in the world!

Much love, always. 🙂

 

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Notoriety And The Human Psyche

 

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”The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” Sigmund Freund.

Sigmund Freund was one of the greatest influencers of the twentieth century. He postulated the fact that our minds are like icebergs, what is seen is much different from the unseen. His quote reminded me of the story of an Australian woman, Noela Rukundo, whose husband hired assassins to kill her on a visit to Burundi for the burial of a relative. In a nutshell, the situation boomerang and he got nine years for inciting murder. It must have been a shock to Noela. Her husband certainly didn’t belie the fact he was planning her murder, this was a classic case of notoriety and the human psyche.

According to ask.com, ”The human psyche is the mind or soul. It is the center of an individual’s response to his environment.” While Cambridge Dictionary Online described Notoriety as ” the state of being famous for something bad.

 

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Love is the easiest emotion in the world, yet it could be costly and it needn’t be, love should be the backbone of our world, however, is it? I doubt it, because if it is, we wouldn’t be so divided with our different views. Some may argue that we need to exercise our freedom of expression hence the need for some people to be free to hate. Hatred would certainly make some people notorious and there are people who crave that kind of attention.

I believe love shouldn’t be all about our families and people close to us. We get suspicious of people who look and dress differently to us, we love our little space in the universe and aren’t too keen to share. We moan incessantly about the weather, the Tube (if you’re a Londoner), the government, whether we should leave or stay in the EU, (the UK again). We snort our noses at immigrants, we’re quick to judge but are slow to proffer solutions. For millennia, there are have been wars, unrest, hatred, disaffection and all sorts. Unfortunately, that is the world, it’s not perfect, that’s why we really have to raise the bar of our love level.

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Why do humans commit murder and relish mayhem? I believe the response of people to different situations differs which may ultimately be the catalyst for many destructive reactions. It’s nothing new that notoriety springs from the mind.  ‘For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him?’ 1 Cor: 2:11. This scripture is spot on! The mind is so complex that throughout millennia, people have tried to decipher its secrets.

The human psyche is as complex as the millions of electricity that pulsate through our brains, little wonder detectives bring complex cases to their behavioural psychoanalysis unit. People have recurrent patterns to their lives, following sets of rules which when pointed out to them, they are always surprised at the patterns of their behaviours.

Forgive me if my post is a bit based on psychoanalysis, it’s got to do with the books I’m working on. Lately, I’ve conducted loads of research on human minds and behaviours, when my new books are released, I guess you’ll all understand more.

I’ve been offline for the past few weeks, my sincere apologies. I’ll be visiting as many blogs as time permits. In the meantime, have fun and stay blessed! :):)

(Photo Credit: Flickr)

Much love, always. 🙂

 

 

 

Surviving Decay…

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      (Photo credit: Flickr)

”Although the living is subject to the ruin of the time, the process of decay is at the same time a process of crystallisation, that in the depth of the sea, into which sinks and is dissolved what once was alive, some things ‘suffer a sea-change’ and survive in new crystallised forms and shapes that remain immune to the elements, as though they waited only for the pearl diver who one day will come down to them and bring them up into the world of the living.”

Hannah Arendt.

I saw this quote by one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. I studied some of her writings, and was pretty impressed by her bluntness, ingenuity, and simplicity. Some  of her works are ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism, ‘The Human Condition,’ ‘On Revolution,’ and ‘The Human Mind.’

It’s a known fact that when we don’t really use our cognitive function, we rot and decay. It’s no wonder that people with warped views of the world and society caused most of the evil in this present age. In layman terms, cognitive function can be aptly described as ‘an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering.’

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I won’t go into too much details about the lack of this important aspect of our civility as humans, I’ll just try to touch base with some of the setbacks we would experience if we don’t use our brains. Lack of cognitive function is responsible for most of the ills in our societies today. Citing the examples of religious bigots like Islamic State murderers, Boko Haram and serial killers whose brain have been irreparably damaged by their intellectual paucity, its little wonder that they believe in fables and riddles purportedly yarn to elicit their obedience.

Decay is essentially part of all living things, we are born, we live, we grow old or maybe not, and then we die and the decaying would start. All living things, especially humans, have the extraordinary ability to survive decay through our offspring, thought patterns, actions and deeds.

How do we leave great legacies behind? How do we defeat the theory of decay which governs all living things? It’s simple – our thought processes is as important as the air we breathe because that would ultimately affect our choices in life, beliefs, and the quotidian or relatively mundane life we led.

Another thing I wanted to point out, also by Arendt, was the effect of thoughtlessness in the life of human beings, it’s always disastrous to lead a thoughtless life. This was aptly described when Hannah Arendt went to Jerusalem on behalf of The New Yorker, to report the trial of Otto Adolf  Eichmann, who was accused of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Arendt described Eichmann as thoughtless;  quiet authentic inability to think. Succinctly put, absence of critical thoughts can actually turn us into a monstrous, stupid, or crass entity who could be easily blown apart by every wind of doctrine.

Critical thoughts are what makes us the higher beings, capable of making sane, rational decisions. That’s simply what differentiated us from animals.

Arendt is a political theorist but many scholars hailed her as a philosopher. I love reading her works, it makes me think deeply about life and society in general. The above quote could be used and interpreted in several ways, I have chosen my way and that is the fact that we can surely survive decay. We only need to think and we’re free to create a better life for ourselves and everyone around us. Life is in stages, enjoy it while you can and THINK before you act.

NP: The life of a writer is a lonely one, I’m still slaving away on my books hence the sporadic updates on my website. I’ll be visiting your blogs as time permits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts, I’ll love to read what you think. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week my friends!

Much love, always. 🙂