Look at South Africa - "Celebrate the Beloved Country"Written by Craig Lock
# Introduction: Just sharing a few thoughts and remembrances after a very recent visit to my former homeland, this incredible, vibrant and diverse country at tip of vast ("dark") continent of Africa, which may be of interest. This piece that I wrote is based upon an inspiring address by former Archbishop, Desmond Tutu. LOOK AT SOUTH AFRICA - CELEBRATE THE BELOVED COUNTRY (UPDATED) Authors Note: It is ten years since first democratic elections, so we can celebrate a decade of birth of a new country, where in spite of an endemic crime rate most people accept each other and work together as common citizens of "beloved country". Well, I'm always looking at some positive aspects and this is my reason for sharing this piece about my former (yet always in my heart) country! In light of current world events and global uncertainty, I say: "Look at South Africa"... Thousands of people died over years of South Africa's turbulent, history (and under "nightmare" called apartheid - forgotten already ???)...which has ended relatively peacefully. Out of a violent and bloody past, South Africa's extraordinary relatively peaceful transition to democracy was a minor miracle... and I believe, South Africans have accomplished something unprecented, unparalleled in last eight years. Perhaps there is a message in South Africa's violent and tortuous path to democracy somewhere to "trouble spots of world"... perhaps there was a reason for misery and tragedy of apartheid (as well as many centuries of colonialism around globe), after all... A possible role-model? In spite of corruption, crime and "cheapness of life there, South Africa may be "trail-blazer", beacon of magnanimity, hope and reconciliation to world. With strong leadership, a spirit of goodwill, tolerance, acceptance ...and most importantly, attempts to understand other peoples and cultures, who are different to us (yet we humans have far more in common than our differences)...and especially with SPIRIT of peace, your nightmare too will end. An end to evil of terrorism, man's inhumanity to man and "impossibility" of world peace CAN one day be achieved. Let world celebrate quite magnificent achievement South Africans of ALL races and creeds, "The Rainbow People of God" have accomplished in past decade. With your "torch of light" you may yet illuminate path to a world one day at peace with itself. CELEBRATE THE "BELOVED COUNTRY" - a land of such contrasts, a "happy, sad" land of great wealth and great poverty, yet beauty and richness of land ...and most importantly its most valuable resource, spirit of its 45 million diverse peoples always seems to shine through in conquering adversity. "South Africa's ability to overcome deep divisions, to negotiate a common future and to commit itself to reconciliation and reconstruction offers new hope - not only to South Africa, but across globe.
"God does work in amazing and miraculous ways...and every person and country has a unique purpose in "God's Divine Plan". Craig Lock * "How apartheid was finally buried, without requiem; but in joyous celebration, will remain forever in hearts and minds of a nation reborn. When tears came, and there was dampness in eyes of even most stern, it was for putting past in past and hoping for hope in future." "South Africa is blessed in resources beyond many. It dare not live just for itself. It must work and labour to bless Africa and world...but especially Africa. If only for Africa's sake we dare not fail; because as South Africa goes, so will rest of Africa." * Editor's note (http://www.bridgeniche.com): This prayer of Craig Lock was published in THE BRIDGE EZINE,...so thought we'd share. Prayer for South Africa 1994 (and these days especially for Southern Africa...and specifically - Zimbabwe)
by Craig Lock
We join in prayer to celebrate this new nation and surrender its destiny to you. We give thanks in our hearts to founding of this vibrant nation of diverse peoples, a beautiful yet tragic land built upon rivers of blood, that flowed from our forefathers; yet still flow today...a 'happy sad' land of such contrasts. We give thanks for and bless souls of those, who came before us and prepared this nation, to nurture and to save it; because so many gave their lives for it, some selflessly and many needlessly.
We ask that God's Holy Spirit now fill hearts of all this great nation's citizens with thoughts of goodwill, righteousness, justice, acceptance and respect for others. In this may we be cleansed of all destructive thoughts. May judgement of others, bigotry, racism and intolerance be washed clean from our hearts, like blood of our forefathers. God, instill in us especially a generous spirit of forgiveness and hope for future. May we play our parts, all of us, in healing and furtherance of our diverse country; so that South Africa will one day fulfill its immense potential, a promise yet to be fulfilled. To do very best within our abilities in developing "the Beloved Country" socially, politically, economically and spiritually...in a spirit of acceptane, co-operation, reconciliation and peace - each and every one of us.
Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at future with a vision - to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become. * Dear Almighty God, you are all-powerful and omnipresent. You hold each one of us in palms of your mighty hands. May our minds be filled with thoughts of You; Your unconditional love and Your acceptance of all Your people, Your children. May this nation be forgiven its transgressions against its fellow citizens of all races and creeds and any and all others… so that we as a nation can move forward in harmony and prosperity.
May our lives be turned to instruments of resurrection and reconciliation, to reach out and bring all our peoples together, that sins of our fathers might be reversed through us, His children. Let us forgive, even if we can never forget. May rich promises of this beautiful country of such contrasts be fulfilled...at long last.
The greatest resource in any nation is its citizens; so may beauty and greatness of this rich, diverse and vibrant land burst forth in hearts of all it's people. Out of mistakes and tragedy of past, may dreams of our forefathers be realised in us; so that we might live with thoughts of goodwill, honesty, integrity, excellence and peace with our neighbours in a bright new dawn..
The Prodigy as Narcissistic InjuryWritten by Sam Vaknin
The prodigy - precocious "genius" - feels entitled to special treatment. Yet, he rarely gets it. This frustrates him and renders him even more aggressive, driven, and overachieving than he is by nature.
As Horney pointed out, child-prodigy is dehumanized and instrumentalized. His parents love him not for what he really is - but for what they wish and imagine him to be: fulfilment of their dreams and frustrated wishes. The child becomes vessel of his parents' discontented lives, a tool, magic brush with which they can transform their failures into successes, their humiliation into victory, their frustrations into happiness.
The child is taught to ignore reality and to occupy parental fantastic space. Such an unfortunate child feels omnipotent and omniscient, perfect and brilliant, worthy of adoration and entitled to special treatment. The faculties that are honed by constantly brushing against bruising reality - empathy, compassion, a realistic assessment of one's abilities and limitations, realistic expectations of oneself and of others, personal boundaries, team work, social skills, perseverance and goal-orientation, not to mention ability to postpone gratification and to work hard to achieve it - are all lacking or missing altogether.
The child turned adult sees no reason to invest in his skills and education, convinced that his inherent genius should suffice. He feels entitled for merely being, rather than for actually doing (rather as nobility in days gone by felt entitled not by virtue of its merit but as inevitable, foreordained outcome of its birth right). In other words, he is not meritocratic - but aristocratic. In short: a narcissist is born.
Not all precocious prodigies end up under-accomplished and petulant. Many of them go on to attain great stature in their communities and great standing in their professions. But, even then, gap between kind of treatment they believe that they deserve and one they are getting is unbridgeable.
This is because narcissistic prodigies often misjudge extent and importance of their accomplishments and, as a result, erroneously consider themselves to be indispensable and worthy of special rights, perks, and privileges. When they find out otherwise, they are devastated and furious.
Moreover, people are envious of prodigy. The genius serves as a constant reminder to others of their mediocrity, lack of creativity, and mundane existence. Naturally, they try to "bring him down to their level" and "cut him down to size". The gifted person's haughtiness and high-handedness only exacerbate his strained relationships.
In a way, merely by existing, prodigy inflicts constant and repeated narcissistic injuries on less endowed and pedestrian. This creates a vicious cycle. People try to hurt and harm overweening and arrogant genius and he becomes defensive, aggressive, and aloof. This renders him even more obnoxious than before and others resent him more deeply and more thoroughly. Hurt and wounded, he retreats into fantasies of grandeur and revenge. And cycle re-commences.
Mistreating Celebrities - An Interview
Granted to Superinteressante Magazine in Brazil March 2005
Q. Fame and TV shows about celebrities usually have a huge audience. This is understandable: people like to see other successful people. But why people like to see celebrities being humiliated?
A. As far as their fans are concerned, celebrities fulfil two emotional functions: they provide a mythical narrative (a story that fan can follow and identify with) and they function as blank screens onto which fans project their dreams, hopes, fears, plans, values, and desires (wish fulfilment). The slightest deviation from these prescribed roles provokes enormous rage and makes us want to punish (humiliate) "deviant" celebrities.
When human foibles, vulnerabilities, and frailties of a celebrity are revealed, fan feels humiliated, "cheated", hopeless, and "empty". To reassert his self-worth, fan must establish his or her moral superiority over erring and "sinful" celebrity. The fan must "teach celebrity a lesson" and show celebrity "who's boss". It is a primitive defense mechanism - narcissistic grandiosity. It puts fan on equal footing with exposed and "naked" celebrity.
Q. This taste for watching a person being humiliated has something to do with attraction to catastrophes and tragedies?
A. There is always a sadistic pleasure and a morbid fascination in vicarious suffering. Being spared pains and tribulations others go through makes observer feel "chosen", secure, and virtuous. The higher celebrities rise, harder they fall. There is something gratifying in hubris defied and punished.
Q. Do you believe audience put themselves in place of reporter (when he asks something embarrassing to a celebrity) and become in some way revenged?
A. The reporter "represents" "bloodthirsty" public. Belittling celebrities or watching their comeuppance is modern equivalent of gladiator rink. Gossip used to fulfil same function and now mass media broadcast live slaughtering of fallen gods. There is no question of revenge here - just Schadenfreude, guilty joy of witnessing your superiors penalized and "cut down to size".
Q. In your country, who are celebrities people love to hate?
A. Israelis like to watch politicians and wealthy businessmen reduced, demeaned, and slighted. In Macedonia, where I live, all famous people, regardless of their vocation, are subject to intense, proactive, and destructive envy. This love-hate relationship with their idols, this ambivalence, is attributed by psychodynamic theories of personal development to child's emotions towards his parents. Indeed, we transfer and displace many negative emotions we harbor onto celebrities.