It’s said that time heals all wounds. No, it doesn’t, we just learn to live with it. Like the ocean waves it keeps flowing inwards overwhelming the mind with memories; then back to the sea only to come back flowing in again. Like the child who keeps making footprints and drawings on the beach knowing the wave is going to wash it the next moment; perhaps we never get over the loss of losing a parent or a loved one. We just learn to handle our broken pieces and keep rebuilding ourselves in the process of becoming.
When a negative situation stays for too long, it can leave one overwhelmed in a way that the person seems to be addicted to negativity or develops a habit of ruminating. Even when an individual has made a conscious thought to not pay heed to it, it keeps coming back.
Why is it that we end up remembering what we want to forget?
Can we exercise influence on our memory to intentionally forget things that only serve to disturb us?
Unfortunately, these days using one’s reason or asking questions is seen as disruptive. With easy and quick access to information suiting our biases, most people readily chose to be satisfied with whatever little they know and what is dumped on them by the media. The biggest sign of being alive and human is that we continue to use our reason. A society that fails to optimize on the ability to reason thwarts its progress becoming impoverished and dependent. When a society gets tamed to accept power holders’ opinions as ‘facts’, consequences can be perilous. Authorities that seek to maximize their control over the masses and use power to their personal advantage, start by throttling the right of people to protest or ask questions; so that people can wholeheartedly believe in the stories narrated by them.
As individuals we are often tempted to define ourselves concretely; thinking the better we will be able to define ourselves, the more certain we will feel, about who we are and our role in this world. We seek to have a sense of stability by visualizing our ‘form’ and connect with the purpose of our existence. Our thoughts and ideas that come in our consciousness, influenced by what we see, hear, learn and unlearn in the process of experiencing life, exert its impact on the ‘form’ we are able to conceive and pursue. Defining a ‘form’ for the self may bring a sense of security, but life, unlike the stone, is fluid, dynamic and uncertain.
What makes Dark Empaths far more dangerous is that you can’t categorize them as a villain, unlike the dark, deceitful individual. Dark empaths impressing you with their warmth, charisma are those vampires that will feed on you while pretending to care about your feelings. They may first seek to understand others emotional state, relying more on cognitive empathy and then act in manipulative ways harming their target. Once they have a good understanding of the nature of their target, their fears, weakness, sensitive points and what triggers them; they use it to provoke, nurture or further the negative states in the other person while coming across as someone who is with you not against you.
Jean-François Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux, in their book, The Set-Up-To Fail Syndrome, write that when an employee underperforms, doubts are cast on his/her capabilities, while the manager and the organisation remain insulated. They further write that the Manager’s impression of the employee does not change even after a good performance, and he/she is almost always assigned unimportant tasks. This gives way to enhanced frustration on both fronts, resulting in either the employee quitting or getting fired.
Initially, when the lockdown began, many had pictured this work from home as a temporary work change that would offer lots of free time away from the watchful eyes of the boss, coupled with flexibility in work schedule. Within a month of this voluntary lockdown, the humorous memes, the positive fantasies associated with work from home, unfortunately, started getting transformed to work at home exhaustion for many. As the pandemic data turns scarier each day and news of forced salary cuts, layoffs are increasing so are the uncertainties. The initial phase of work at home was akin to the honeymoon stage of burnout. Learning to work at home employees were eager to please and meet all work requests with enthusiasm. Very soon this started to get replaced by lassitude, a state of mental and physical weariness, discomfort, fatigue and burnout. If ones’ job is relatively secure and one is performing the same work from home, then why is it leading to increased stress when working from home.
Work is an integral part of a person’s life and its imperative on organizations to take the issue of burnout seriously especially in current times where it is laden with layoffs, job insecurity, work from home and high dependence on technology. The present dynamic and uncertain work climate calls for drawing upon divine democratic managerial style for creating a synergistic work environment. It should be noted here that workplace burnout can be cumulative, so if a manager is experiencing burnout, it may affect those working with him too owing to the snowball effect.
Stress caused by experiences related to ‘self’ causing threat to self-regard, negative self-judgment, inability to embrace failure owing to a grandiose self-image coupled with worthlessness and hopelessness can also throw some light in answering the question ‘why suicide’. More so, in cases where it’s difficult to attribute a known cause to suicide. The need of the hour is to focus on developing coping mechanisms at the individual level and nurturing social structures that can support a person undergoing a tough or conflicting situation. The idea is to enable people to see the light instead of contemplating escape through suicide, leaving behind the haunting question’ why’.
COVID 19 like a wakeup call for putting hatred, prejudice, resentments aside and strive for building our societies on the foundation of kindness, compassion and equality; that celebrates and accepts differences with grace. It has increased our sensitivity to ephemera, the awareness of impermanence and brutally reminded us of the circle of life. Living in a transient world, is it not better to have lived, loved and laugh rather than hate, kill and perish?