Thursday, February 02, 2006

Itcher Birt Day

Punxsutawney Phil, the most celebrated meteorologist of his day, says 6 more weeks of winter. I say we fire him . . . or at least force him into retirement. I'll take over. For my first seasonal prediction, "Maui weather for everyone, story at 5:00."

I think Phil needs to re-examine his character. Why so skiddish? When I came out of prenatal hibernation 35 years ago today, I had the moxy to stay in the light of day, shadow or no. So, as an honorary groundhog, I move that we start the planting season early and fire up the grill.

On another note, I'd like to share an excerpt from one of the books I'm mining through.

"In essence I am deliberately rejecting our present easy distinction between sickness and health, at least as far as surface symptoms are concerned. Does sickness mean having symptoms? I maintain now that sickness might consist of not having symptoms when you should. Does health mean being symptom free? I deny it. Which of the Nazis at Auschwitz or Dachau were healthy? Those with stricken conscience or those with a nice, clear, happy conscience? Was it possible for a profoundly human person not to feel conflict, suffering, depression, rage, etc?

In a word if you tell me you have a personality problem I am not certain until I know you better whether to say "Good!" or "I'm sorry." It depends on the reasons. And these, it seems, may be bad reasons or good reasons.

An example is the changing attitude of psychologists toward popularity, toward adjustment, even toward delinquency. Popular with whom? Perhaps it is better for a youngster to be unpopular with the neighboring snobs or with the local country club set. Adjusted to what? To a bad culture? What shall we think of a well-adjusted slave? Even the behavior problem boy is being looked upon with new tolerance. Why is he delinquent? Most often it is for sick reasons. But occasionally it is for good reasons and the boy is simply resisting exploitation, domination, neglect, contempt, and trampling upon.

Clearly what will be called personality problems depends on who is doing the calling. The slave owner? The dictator? It seems clear that personality problems may sometimes be loud protests against the crushing of one's psychological bones, of one's true inner nature. What is sick then is not to protest while this crime is being committed.

-Abraham Maslow, Toward A Psychology of Being

What say you?