Posts Tagged ‘violence’

“A poll released Wednesday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.

Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well-being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven criminality that give it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala sits just above Iraq on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, a composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But it ranks seventh in positive emotions.

“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”

Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day.

In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world. Other wealthy countries also sat surprisingly low on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.

Prosperous nations can be deeply unhappy ones. And poverty-stricken ones are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.”

Positive emotions aren’t everything. People living close to Nature is well grounded yes. They are likely to develop more positive emotions than one who has had for Christmas a glock or AR15. What positive emotions can he have unless he goes out  and tries it on anything moving? Keep encouraging children ‘Sport! come on try take this to dangerous places, for your own protection’and you will learn soon enough. It shocked me no little to read of the 11 year old boy in Utah taking his weapon to school. When schools have become such lethal place for shoot-outs all I can say American education has become soul-less. Warning signs were there. The warning ‘Why Johnny cannot read’ should have had companion primer like’Why Johnny’s parents cannot read the writing on the wall’. Neglect and wrong parenting methods have reaped their havoc. Parents trusted progress too well to shape the character of their wards. We see their long range consequences now. A child in Gautemala may never see the inside of a school. At least he has unspoilt nature for school. If he is let to build on positive emotions without interference from well meaning busybodies, he may even learn to be happy in life,- living with what little one may call as fruits of ‘progress’.

The day after the Sandy Hook massacre there was a surge in body armor jackets and guns. I say these people are lemmings. Lemmings I thought were only in cold Arctic regions. No people well pick up the characteristics as naturally as the static on the TV screen of background radiation. (When nature teaches you, what one learns of human nature takes some shape and color.) What do the lemmings teach us? We see the behavior of lemmings in the mindless reaction of people to some events.They respond en masse as a Pavlovian reflex. Progress built up peer pressure and it has made this least attractive trait shape progressive societies. Peer pressure to steel the soul of children to face adversity like an iron spike would have been the ideal. But modern society are in hurry :where not life but status symbols define man’s worth. It translates into ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ syndrome.In order to be seen successful possess as many cars as your neighbor and so on. It is peer pressure at work. Training children from birth to be natural and self-reliant will not do for the so called city fathers. The young have to conform to peer pressure instead. When one waves flag you gotta wave one or when one beats the drum the rest has to march like robots. No wonder progress has been so badly shown in practice. Does not anyone read Emerson or Thoreau and learn to trust in his or her god-given individuality any more? 


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First let me give opinions of an anthropologist and a biologist. ‘Our emotions make us unique 

While human aggression is a naturally evolved phenomenon we have in common with other animals, the difference between human and animal violence comes down to the complexity of the emotion driving it, said Elizabeth Cashdan professor of Anthropology of Univ. of Utah in 2009.

Aggression in few animals goes beyond protecting one’s territory, mates, offspring and food — there is some evidence that domestic dogs and chimpanzees do hold grudges, said Carrier, a Biologist also from Univ. of Utah — but human violence has evolved to stem from less typical sources.
“Humans are unique in the complexity of their social relationships and their highly developed social intelligence. Revenge and spite are quintessential social emotions and so are not likely to be found in many, if any, other species,” she said.
“For example revenge killings, and the cultural institutions that support and restrain it, 
shape human aggression in new ways,” said Cashdan. The intelligent reasoning that lets most of us override any innate desire to be violent also makes some people, such as parents that kill their children, as well as institutions justify violence illogically, experts say.
With our complex brain we splice frustration, fear for the future all the emotions violent and beautiful into shapes never thought possible. A chimpanzee can never commit hara-kiri a ceremony to wipe of dishonor. Whereas a man can flagellate for God or to show his intense sorrow for a dead saint.

Worry over the future

An understanding of the evolutionary roots of human aggression could help institutions make better policy decisions, according to experts.
“Evolution didn’t just shape us to be violent, or peaceful, it shaped us to respond flexibly, adaptively, to different circumstances, and to risk violence when it made adaptive sense to do so. We need to understand what those circumstances are if we want to change things,” said Cashdan.
Though conflicts like the ones that occurred in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s may seem a distant memory, the tipping point between peace and that sort of violence is a finer line than we think, said Carrier.
“My personal opinion is that Western society, as a whole, is in mass denial about the magnitude of the problem that violence represents for the future”.
In a caste riddled Hindu society breaking rules of gotra the village elders may punish man and woman with death. If we consider such acts can only occur in a primitive society think of Grimmer of Texas, America.
Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun on the welfare office supervisor, Roberto Reyes, and her two children out of her frustration at being denied food stamps. The office’s other employees were able to safely evacuate the building, according to the San Antonio Express.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, and officers communicated with Grimmer throughout the ordeal.
But at midnight — shortly after Grimmer hung up on police — three shots were fired, causing the police to storm the building.
(abc Good Morning America-7 Dec.2011)Frustration in progressive society is over future and in a primitive society is over the past. While we speak of superstition and ridiculous beliefs of the other cultures how we feel about future rely on the brain that is less than efficient. Our emotions we may shape into new forms but cannot escape the forces that bear upon the brain.

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A Fortune Cookie ©

A treasure-seeker went into the Arabian Desert. The night before he set out on the last leg of his journey he was in an inn where he picked a fortune cookie. Within the cookie was a strip of paper rolled neatly that read, ‘Ask kindly and do not forget to thank me for the favors’. He went to the oases as darkness fell and he had no difficulty to reach the Tomb of the Unknown Traveler. He could also find the exact spot where the treasure lay hidden. A figure now sat there as if deep in prayers. With one bullet he killed him. Rudely shoving the dead aside he began digging up. He might have kept at it for a length of thirty minutes before the shovel hit some metal.
It was a box. Before he could open it a shadow fell over him. It was that of a Jinn who put such a fright into him and he fainted.  By and by he recovered. The Jinn pointed out to the dead and said: “Did you ask him kindly?”  The treasure hunter remembered the fortune- cookie. He managed a smile and croaked, “Too late for that.”
Before dying, out of fright to be sure, he seemed to see in that face of the dead man an uncanny resemblance to himself. He was also past hearing the words of the Jinn, who exclaimed, “Not even a thanks for the favors done to him. Does not anyone believe in a fortune cookie these days?”

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