Friday, February 26, 2016

Kicked By Kindness


Falling off your pathway is like being kicked. It yanks you into imbalances. It forces reaction. The surprise is disintegrating. The unexpectedness is discombobulating. The hardship scatters your senses. Sensibility goes awry. It sucks. For who has not fallen? Who has never been kicked, emotionally, verbally, directly, metaphorically? It is not an advent reserved for the disfavoured, for the poor, for the malcontent, or for kings; it is a thing of chaos and disorder. No, it is not always dependent on consequence. It does not necessarily depend on one's own responsibility or actions. The kick comes at you unexpectedly, dealt by date; by circumstance; by chance. And what was, is no longer. The vicissitudes of life can verily vanquish its victims. (Say what?)

Yet not all are vanquished. (And not all are undeserving). There are many who see the advent of misfortune as an opportunity to redirect, to alter course, to adjust, accommodate, to flow with the go. There are many who'd make of their disintegration a positive thing.

Dabrowski (1981) has it that unless we take disintegration and make a hierarchical shift within it we in actuality only change the physical circumstances of our lives to better (or worse) but are in effect essentially unmoved within. We bring our old judgments and dissatisfactions and gripes and growlies with us; we are not really changed. The addition of more rooms to our house, or more zeros to our paycheques makes us happier, yes, but does not change our essence. We remain myopic or bigoted or racist or offensive or defensive or victimized or belligerent. The change we experienced was mostly material. We grew on a horizontal plane. We now may know more, have seen more, have been to more places, but are not fundamentally affected. We are what we are. As such, Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration dwells much on the dynamisms inherent in our being, and does not predict much for the potential of one who is not essentially auto-telic, or a person not passionate about self-direction, about meta-cognition.

A 2013 research report by Kaplan on Kahan and Nyhan about our collective brain-based reaction to our evolution comes in a short essay review at this link: http://www.alternet.org/media/most-depressing-discovery-about-brain-ever . It essentially states that we do not change, despite being giving the facts that contradict our present behaviours. We are so acculturated to the status quo that we hardly can become a unique individual; we hardly can break free from what everyone else is doing and thinking and being in our immediate society, if not our global one. Being ‘a child of the universe,’ as stated in Desiderata, does not quite do it for us. We see ourselves too much attendant on the doings-on of our own immediate Petri-dish. (No, a melt-down or two on the highway of life may not quite suffice. Nor, necessarily, will walking the St. James Way.)

When delivering the bad news to another, when directly responsible for implementing a change in their lives that might adversely affect them (or conversely make life yet more-better for their having to break from their obligation to an old paradigm), we give a kick that is disintegrating.... (So sorry, but may it turn out positively for you, truly!) At the end of it all, reaction might be tempered into response. And at the end of it all, no matter what, the direction one takes from the unexpected blow is up to you. You alone are the action, or the receiver, whether or not the ball is in your court. You alone make the lemonade from... And sometimes, even the kindness behind bad news can feel like a kick, indeed.


How to turn it into positive disintegration? Evolution itself is dependent on acquiring new habits. And evolution is dependent on change, one by one by one by two, by yet more. Always.


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