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Happiness – and despair

The only psychology I have studied formally was a unit on the psychology of teenagers, which was part of my Dip Ed (Secondary), which I undertook when I was living with three teenagers.

So my knowledge in this area is far from expert, having been mainly gleaned from experience in a family, in life, from reading and in teaching.

Emotion is an experience which is incredibly hard to define. When trying to explain what is ‘felt’ in a very non-concrete way, the same words can mean different things, because every experience is unique to the individual.

Research seems to indicate that sociopaths and psychopaths may lack the ability to empathise with, and hence show compassion to, other people.

Their understanding of emotion is stunted and warped.

Maybe there are too many we have elected to govern us who fit into these categories

Happiness is something more than drug induced euphoria. Many people use the word when maybe ‘contented’ might be more appropriate than ‘happy’.

One source of real happiness which many experience arises from helping someone else.

Paying a truthful compliment to a stranger, helping someone in need, particularly if you have gone out of your way to do so – these can produce a response which is quite uplifting, while making another individual more comfortable with life.

Yet we seem to live in a society which demands that we be self-reliant and leave others to look after their own needs, and those who do help others, for no fee, are denigrated as fools and do-gooders.

I am fully convinced that climate change is happening, that it is going to result in serious changes which will make life for many unbelievably uncomfortable, if not impossible, that we currently have just enough time to prevent the most extreme outcomes, but need to take action now, and that the selfish blindness of those who look to their own needs before those of others risks dooming our descendants to an unpleasant life.

Looking to the needs of others can be a source of giving and experiencing extreme happiness.

Concentrating on our own current desires can leave others in the depths of despair.

This is not religious dogma – this is an acceptance of our humanity.

We do not need to support a government which delivers policies which damage many in our society. In fact we have a moral duty not to do so!

We do not need to go to the bloody lengths of a revolution such as those in France and America in the 1700s.

But our need to overthrow this current government demands a high level of civil disobedience if we are to effect the policy changes we need so urgently.

The government does not have a mandate to give temporary help and then withdraw it prematurely, leaving people in penury and deep despair.

They have, through the childcare policy debacle, shown that they are quite capable of going down that path.

Whoever might benefit from that approach, they sure as hell are not the ones most in need of help.

I joined Extinction Rebellion because I am prepared to work to change policies that are damaging people and their future existence.

There are not thousands in the NT who can pour out onto the streets and protest, but there are in other places. They cannot safely do so yet, because of the continuing need for social distancing.

So now is the time to plan.

We have to oppose government policies which benefit corporations while harming individuals.

We can do this!

I am sure my recent Open letter to Scott Morrison did not travel very far, but responses to it certainly indicated that I am far from alone in being critical of our present, so-called, leader and the policies he and the Coalition government promulgate.

Plan to be ready to be safely out there to protest, and meantime, study the concept of civil disobedience.

It is time to stop talking and start planning for action before it is too late!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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5 comments

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  1. Joseph Carli

    Am watching the latest version of Victor Hugo’s classic : “Les Miserables” on ABC…and as is a theme in Victor Hugo’s works…the conundum of whether good intentions can atone for evil deeds in humanity comes to the fore of my thoughts…and as RosemaryJ…pleads above, now is the time to prepare for civil disobedience…but will the powers that be allow simple protest to overthrow their tyranny…not if history is any judge of character. These mis-fits who have come to power by chance and cruel/fraudulent circumstance will not…now CANNOT…let the reins of governance and judicial inquiry fall into the hands of their adversaries any time soon…I have commented back in 2016 that this mob of criminals are now SO compromised and beholden to their patrons that they cannot afford to lose that election…and they didn’t…by one seat!..and likewise the 2019 election…again by one seat…now I am no longer a gambling man, but I was for many years once…only a “penny punter”, but I know that the odds on a long-shot (we saw the voter polls both into and exit) winning back to back races by a short-half-head JUST WHEN YOU DESPERATELY NEED THEM TO is at odds that NO bookie would be willing to back…and indeed some did and regretted it!…and also from the punters bible….quote : “You never win with scab money”…ie; you never win betting on a last hope tenner!

    So now I am left with the V. Hugo moral question of ; does a good intention/deed overthrow the combined actions of so many cruel / evil actions?….I hope so, RosemaryJ….I hope so…but there’s these volumes of Roman history right here at my elbow that would dispute such a notion…but hey…we can but hope…

  2. RosemaryJ36

    Joseph Carli – The French achieved it, though using tactics I would not support. But when you closely examine the extent to which people power and social pressure have forced policy change, never say it is impossible!

  3. jamie

    We do not need to go to the bloody lengths of a revolution such as those in France and America in the 1700s.

    Risible, puerile, cowardly and pathetic. Just penal colony sheeple blah blah. Intellectual disgrace.

    And Abe Lincoln in 1863. Slavery OK so don’t upset the Slave Murderers?

  4. Phil Pryor

    Don’t have faith in Australian efforts, participation, awareness, sense, balance, prudence, accurate and disinterested honesty, analysis or self awareness. You will lose, get cranky, feel betrayed. I often do, but, one cannot control others with words from a nobody, for people swirl with events, outlooks, ultimately self and the real interests of getting on, not falling behind others, in some regard or pride. With that, let us move to our political present and likely future, for dirty dills, devious dickheads, lying loudmouths, selfish slimes and repulsive media muck munching maggots seem to have the game covered, for enough very ordinary voters have looked at their inner needs and suspicions, swallowed the indoctrinated rubbish, put on the dried brainwashed thoughts (hah) and let the future down. The nation has a poor outlook, needs radical revised reconstruction, just when nobody wants to make any effort beyond prolonging the stupidites and past failures, without any serious effort to focus on real need, real progress. It’s a lying, distorted, superstitious greedy world. And very mediaeval too. Or, is it just the natural primitive stupidity rising again…?

  5. John lord

    Thanks for your thoughts. They are important.

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