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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Who do You Trust?

 “I just spent 90 minutes talking about authenticity dressed in an outfit I only wear to funerals.”—Brene’ Brown

That was today.

This was yesterday:

 “Trump isn’t crazy. We are.”--Allan Francis.

I had to laugh out loud when I read that. Not because it was ha ha funny, but because it was pathetic funny.

Trump has scared so many people that six dystopia classics have suddenly jumped to the top of Amazon’s top seller list. 

They are Orwell’s 1994 and Animal Farm, Huxley’s Brave New World, Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Margaret Attwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Psychiatrist Allen Francis, twilight of american sanity (small letters his.) “A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump” writes that “Being a world-class narcissist doesn’t make Trump mentally ill as many diagnosticians claim.  

It makes him even more fearsome because he isn’t. 

If he was we could excuse him, kick him out of the Presidency, or dismiss his blatant blow-hard tactics.

“Insanity in individuals is somewhat rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”-- Freidrich Nietzche

Well, crumb, and here we are sitting right smack dab in the middle of it.

Perhaps that readers are turning to the classics will make us saner people.

Francis wrote the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While other diagnosticians are correctly noting that the disorder’s defining features fit Trump like a glove (grandiose self-importance; preoccupations with being great; requiring constant admiration’ feeling entitled; lacking empathy; and being exploitive, envious and arrogant) still Francis maintains that it does not prove that he is mentally ill. 

Actually, it has gotten him fame, fortune, women and now political power.

That people call Trump crazy is to ignore a deeper social sickness.

Simply put, Trump isn’t insane, but our society is.

An individual can be dead wrong and not be crazy, but for a society to be dead wrong is scary.

Used to be the world was huge, the resources boundless and self-preservation necessary for personal survival. (Often they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from.) The survival instincts that worked for fifty thousand years now need to be redirected into a world that requires cooperation.

I don’t know what a big hairy dilemma looks like but I know he has horns for I am sitting on one.

Why would we elect a man so blatantly against the earth, global warming, woman, immigrants, ethnic differences, conserving resources, and world trade?

Throw out a phrase, “Make American Great Again,” and enough Americans believed it to elect Trump, not to mention that Hillary was demonized to the extent that even women didn’t trust her.

I think it was the Archie Bunker phenomenon (TV’s All in the Family). Archie began as a laughable bigoted buffoon, and he became popular. Perhaps people appreciate an individual who lets his thoughts spill out his mouth without censorship, and without any care about what others think. It is what they wish for themselves.

 It is a child that has never grown up.

Why we can't stay silent on social issues due to fear of criticism or getting it wrong.--BrenĂ© Brown,  BA, MA and PhD.

And then today happened.

As I listened to Brene’ Brown talking about “Belonging, Courage, and Constructive Conversations” on Marie Forleo’s show, I was reassured about the health of our society when nigh on to 40 million viewers showed up for her Ted Talk.

I am reassured when attendees in the thousands plunk down funds and go to a Tony Robbins event to confront their psychological, financial and spiritual issues.

Brown points out that we are hard-wired not to hurt each other for we are a social species.

But, to harm another first we need to dehumanize them.

When the president calls women, “pussy,” or “dogs,” it renders them subhuman.

On the flip side when we call him “a pig,” we are doing that as well.

This chips away at our soul.

It is a moral exclusion and at the core of every genocide.

If they are sub-human then we can justify eradicating them

People are hard to hate close up.

What is Trust?

Brown says there are 7 elements to trust, and these are observable and testable.

Her anarchism for those elements is BRAVING

B is for foundries, what’s ok, and what’s not ok.
R Reality. Say what you’ll do, and do what you say.
A Accountability
V the vault. Think of the cone of silence. It is a safe place where trust is shared. Sometimes we “talk out of school” to make a connection. However, we are telling stories that are not ours to tell.
Integrity, choose what’s right over Fun, Fast, and Easy. People don’t do discomfort well. We have become a society of fun, fast and easy. 
Both Brown and Forleo said that the important things they achieved in life were not easy.
Generosity. Assume positive intent. In the absence of data, it is human nature make up stories. We can run a long narrative of how they did us wrong when we aren’t facing them head on. (Remember it is hard to hate someone close up.)

The earth still laughs in Flowers.

This Gerbera Daisy from my porch wintered over. I was surprised to see its little green sprout in the planter box, and so I tenderly watered it, and look what I got. 

I have high hopes for it as winter is coming on. 

Perhaps we, too, can winter over.

 From my daughter’s trainer:
“Avoid realistic goals.”
“With realistic goals, you will settle. Instead set realistic time frames.”

I like that man.