This is one of the best reasons to choose life.
Now my question.
Andrea Bocelli is a world-famous singer.
If he weren’t famous, would it have been a better choice for his mother to abort him?
This is one of the best reasons to choose life.
Now my question.
Andrea Bocelli is a world-famous singer.
If he weren’t famous, would it have been a better choice for his mother to abort him?
Here are two links that claim that if you consume mass-produced foods from a large number of companies, you are effectively
Where I’m concerned, sticking money in the pockets of the world’s worst monopolies is already an act of satanism in itself and all of us are guilty of it. We all are guilty of having a bank account, to begin with, and of shopping at supermarket chains, etc. All of us who are online are pandering to the large computer corporations, which are in turn owned by those self-same billionaires that test food flavourants on fetal cell lines.
Note the careful wording.
“Using aborted babies in flavour additives” is already bordering on an outright lie (unless we have genuine evidence that the actual baby cells end up in the food?).
“Using aborted fetal cells for producing flavour additives” is dangerously misleading.
I’m really sorry Snopes have bombed out on themselves; we could have used an honest site revising such stories.
(eww! I hate it when puns creep up on me!)
Companies like Kraft, PepsiCo, Nestle, have reportedly been working with Semonyx, a California-based company that uses aborted embryonic cells to test fake flavoring chemicals. According to GOP The Daily Dose, the aborted human fetal cell line is known as “HEK-293,” and it’s used to find out how the human palate will react to synthetic flavors.
“What they don’t tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” said Debi Vinnedge of the pro-life group Children of God for Life. “They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.”
So that’s it? They have obtained (probably bought) foetal aborted tissue from abortion clinics (probably with the ex-pregnant un-mother’s implied consent, most definitely without the foetus’ consent), cultivated a cell line in a petridish from the parts, made it grow in the labs, and then used it for testing flavours.
None of the cells actually goes into the flavouring; so forget about “cannibalistic”. You’re not eating human cells or even human protein.
Instead, a small sample of the flavouring is presented to (possibly painted onto, or injected into) the cell lines. This sample is never reused for anything else; imagine the effort of re-extracting it from the cells? All they are seeing, is how these cells react to that chemical, so they can synthesize more of the same chemical which then gets stuffed into the “foods” they produce.
The cell lines never leave the lab. The chemical that gets into your food never touches the cell lines. It’s as simple as that. (Not that synthetic chemicals in your food are exactly good for you…)
So the “satanic” question comes in exclusively about using abortus tissue cultures for anything commercial. Or, for that matter, abortion itself, and the selling of the abortus tissue to commercial companies for commercial uses.
Disgusting and unethical? For sure!
Cannibalistic? Oh please!!
And “satanic”? Oh my hat…
This is where it becomes very transparent which agenda pushes this deliberate skewed information.
The trouble with the entire abortion debate is this.
People who don’t want to agree fully with the “pro-choice” mainstream, are instantly labelled “pro-life”.
(Little detour into semantics here. How can “pro-life” be something negative? “To life, to life, l’chaim!” sang the whole company of “Fiddler on the Roof”. I’m 100% for life and not against it! It’s on a level with calling someone who digs deeper than the media indoctrination, a “truther”. The truth was something good to look for, last time I heard? I find some of these “insults” hard to understand.)
“Oh, so you don’t think girls should use abortion as a free way of contraception? You pro-lifer! You must also feel that girls who are raped have no right to abort the rapist’s spawn!”
By pushing a person who doesn’t agree 100% with you, into the opposite camp, all you do is kill the conversation. And by killing the conversation, you allow those same unethical, disgusting companies to continue making their profits out of other people’s misfortune.
Sadly, the “other camp” – the “pro-lifers” – while they do contain sensible, rational and questioning people who would like to put abortion clinics under investigation for selling off foetal body parts (to whomever for whatever purpose), nevertheless the loudest voices in that camp, and the ones attracting most of the attention, are the unscientific, emotional religious fundamentalists who base their judgement and battle cries on a book not all of us agree on. The effect of their propaganda (like for instance this example of distortion of the facts to make a point about “cannibalism” and “satanism”) is so off-putting that it actually plays right into the hands of the mainstream, “pro-choicers”.
“You want to investigate that abortion clinic chain for unethical practices? Do you really want to be called a pro-lifer and be associated with those loonies?”
We need to stop making everything into only 2 camps.
Imagine having to pick one of these two statements as applying to you:
Which one of the two (there is no third option) would you pick?
You see: The problem is that there is no third option!
Yes, we do want women to be allowed to abort their rapist’s spawn.
No, we don’t want teenagers getting into the fornication habit and using abortion as a cheap way of contraception. Actually, we want them to learn responsibility before they start fornicating. We want them to understand the consequences and be able to choose sensibly, not just be carried away primitively in the moment at every party. We wouldn’t agree with them going to the toilet on the sidewalk, either! And if they can’t say no to sex, will they say no to drugs when offered? How about teaching delayed gratification, and choice versus consequence?
(Look again at semantics: How “pro-choice” has been corrupted into meaning “pro-instant-gratification-plus-easy-abortion”.)
And: No, we don’t want corrupt clinics to make stacks of money selling the body parts of aborted human foetuses! Think of the logic: The girl, if given the same money that her abortus is making for the clinic, would probably have opted to raise the baby herself instead of aborting! Most abortions are driven by fear – existential fear of not being able to feed that child. How is that “pro-choice”? Most girls who choose abortion feel they actually have no choice at all, as the alternative is destitution and death.
But concerning the “cannibalism”:
TBH: Testing chemical flavours on animals is a lot more cruel than using a human tissue culture. It’s not as though the already-dead foetus can feel anything anymore. Morbid, sure! Safer and less cruel than animal testing: Too.
Why actually do we need synthetic flavourants? The best tomato ketchup on the shelves here is made with tomatoes, vinegar and salt.
The idealist in me recommends to everyone to grow your own food and go off the grid in order to sabotage such huge, disgusting commercial giants. But then – oh shucks – you won’t be able to read my blog posts anymore! What to do?
I’d say, that is the tip of the iceberg.
Most of us who use Facebook were lured into it by the catchy promise that you “keep contact with your friends and faraway family” that way. Some of us (especially authors) were lured into it because “you have to be on social networks” to put yourself “out there”. And Facebook (and Myspace, years back, and Ning, and various other networks) was an easy forum to share updates and developments in our lives.
Here’s the thing. People don’t understand (or consider) the dangers.
Facebook, as you may have noticed, insists on a cellphone number for every new account. Once you have innocently given Facebook your cellphone number (and there are various ways in which this can happen), one of the tricks they do unless you are aware of it and change your settings forbidding them this, is to mine your cellphone for all the numbers on it and match them to your friends, family and contacts. As you see, your number can get onto Facebook without you ever having given it.
Whatsapp: This is an offshoot of Facebook (did you know this?). Whatsapp, once you activate it, immediately links your cellphone to your Facebook account unless you know they are going to do it and forbid them. Example: My son, after receiving a smartphone from a well-meaning and by now regretful relative, joined Whatsapp for a family group. If I’d known, I’d have told him to leave that alone. He is 14. He received a Facebook invite on his Whatsapp from a total stranger who “likes” his profile. My son’s very sensible response to that: He blocked the stranger, and then went and deleted his Facebook account.
Don’t whatsapp me. I don’t have Whatsapp and am not intenting to get it. Send me an sms or an email, or don’t bother.
Here’s how it works:
People who are your genuine friends may or may not see your kiddie pictures, and they may or may not click “like”, and they may or may not comment. That’s not the point. Instead, paedophiles, perverts and people in the human trade, in other words criminals, stalk the net to discover kiddie pictures that they like. Then they have various choices.
Some pretend to be a teenager too, sometimes even a cute teenage girl (pictures they’ve stolen elsewhere), and approach your child (if your teen has a profile). They make friends with your child and get themselves invited, and the next thing, crime, abduction, rape and death. (There was a particularly bad case in Cape Town some years back where the sixteen-year-old invited her “friends” to visit while parents were not home; ended up raped and murdered, and they cut off and removed her arms (probably because she had defended herself and got some of their blood, i.e. DNA, under her fingernails).
Some, on the other hand, never contact your child. They use hacking techniques to find the cellphone number of the child, then use the cellphone to determine where that child is (did you realize every cellphone is a tracking device by its very nature?), and abduct the child from school or wherever else.
Still in the mood for advertising your child online?
Sleepless again, many different worries colliding in my brain (I think that sort-of sums up insomnia). Ah well.
Please remember that the stories posted here are drafts. Not the final version. In fact a lot may be culled out before the final book gets released. This is just the sketchy first laying-of-track.
Shadow couldn’t sleep that night. He lay with his eyes open, listening to the chirping of the crickets and the singing of the Southern cicadas.
He couldn’t understand why Lindsey hated him so much; but that wasn’t what really bothered him. As a gypsy he was used to being despised for no reason. It went far beyond racism; people who would usually treat people from other races with great respect, still hated and mistreated gypsies. He had seen it. Especially here in Southern Free where there was indeed a weird and wonderful racial mix; they all seemed comfortable with each other but instantly spotted the outsider in him, giving him only the evil eye if he was lucky. It seemed to be some warped sort of gadjo instinct.
There were no other gypsies in Southern Free. He was quite alone. But the money was good here. It seemed as though through his very foreignness, jobs were easier to find. He wasn’t thinking about mango-picking or car-selling jobs, either. Jobs in his line – and that was a very specialized, highly paid line. Not a traditional gypsy line at all; if his tribe had known, they’d have kicked him out, and so would all the others. It was as modimay as it got. And an outcast gypsy, one who had been cursed, was socially dead. It was worse than being actually dead, so he’d heard. But he had already lost everyone he cared about; there was nothing more to lose.
He’d in fact been on a job when he had come across that rescuable pair, Marge and her baby girl Lucy. He’d been stalking a target, taking notes of his daily habits. And now? His employers usually knew better than to pressurize him for time; it was rare that he took a job with a deadline. Patience was one of his best strategies. He had time for this one. But right now, he wasn’t even anywhere near the job.
He wouldn’t have believed the police ‘justice’ in this place until tonight. He’d thought that his employer had something to hide herself, that she was avoiding the police. She had told him that she’d been to the police and they had advised her to ‘keep her eyes open and report’ if she gained any information; but all information she had brought them about the target, had been duly written down into a file and nothing further had happened.
She had been able to give Shadow quite some details about the target. Night clubs the man frequented; ‘escort agencies’ he visited. Clearly she had done quite a bit of stalking and investigation herself, prior to engaging a professional. On the other hand she had not managed to glean any sort of detail about Shadow, other than that he was foreign. The lady’s name was Ina, and she’d lost her younger sister. The animal in question was a serial rapist. He routinely murdered his victims. And he had a special preference for blondes.
It boggled Shadow’s mind trying to envision what the insides of such a character looked like. What kind of monstrous instinct drove a human being to such crimes? It couldn’t be hate, because hate was attraction. He knew this from escaping the Unicate, night after night… those forces hated him with a bright radiance like a laser gun, and they always found his trail.
See, he thought, and that’s why you can never fit in with a snug little foster family. He got up, as silent as a ghost, and moved to the bedroom door. His instincts actually called him to go to the window, into the night, the moonlight; the house was darker than the actual rooms. But he couldn’t live or die in these disgraceful track pants, it felt like wearing a towel or something. And no pockets at all, that was useless. He had to find his torn jeans and the paraphernalia he carried in his pockets. Hey, it wasn’t much anyway, his knife, a small bunch of Allen keys to pick some locks… a small torch… some coinage… he didn’t carry most of his money on him. Still, without his knife at least he was marooned.
Think like a gadchey mom. Marge would have stuffed his jeans in the wash. He located the laundry basket in the bathroom where the washer was also located; and found the jeans by touch and by – eugh – smell. Those police cells sure smelled like a morgue. He rifled through the pockets, finding nothing. And he cursed softly and put the light on. There was always an excuse for going to the bathroom at night, should someone discover him.
A quick glance around located his knife where he’d left it himself, on the rim of the handbasin. He smiled in relief and took it back. As for the Allen keys, well – if they were truly lost, a piece of wire would do the same thing until he could secure another set.
Now, for something more logical to wear. The shirt was fine, any shirt would do at this point; it was clean. But he needed a pair of trousers that had more pockets than the one he was wearing.
Lucy had said something about a big brother. Well, if he was lucky, he’d find something. He switched the bathroom light off again and sneaked along the dark corridor, peering quietly into the various bedrooms.
Lucy slept with a bedside light on. He paused a moment, absorbing the scene of the little child sleeping, her cheeks flushed, her fluffy hair everywhere like a cloud around her head. Snuggled into her pink bed with the pink-and-red down duvet bedding, the rainbow-cloud curtains, the soft fuzzy white carpet, and fluffy toys all over the room… it staggered him. He’d never seen anything like it before. He’d been in a lot of houses; mostly at night to find a target, and usually the gadje houses were cold, stark, functionally luxurious, or impoverished, dirty and cluttered. But he’d never yet come across such a fantasy of a child’s room before, complete with the little monster herself asleep in the bed.
He removed himself again as quietly as only a Tzigan could, so that he didn’t accidentally pop this bubble by his mundane presence. His perspective on gadje and their imagination had forever shifted.
Silently he crept further down the passageway, finding a locked door – ha, Lindsey had made good on her threat and locked herself in. He laughed soundlessly. She really thought he’d come and rob her tonight, or whatever else her rich imagination could conjure up? He wondered fleetingly if she too slept in such a pink palace, and found his mind jarring with the incongruence. No. Her room might be colour-coded for all he knew; but it wouldn’t be a fairy kingdom. Probably more towards the cluttered and messy side of things. He moved on to the next door and found an empty bedroom. Softly he opened the cupboard doors and found clothes, neatly folded or hanging from hangers. He rifled through them a bit, careful not to disturb too much. And, yes: There was that ubiquitous piece of clothing nobody could do without: the jeans. He pulled it out and unravelled it, his jack-knife still in his left hand as he had nowhere to stash it.
The pants were hopelessly too long for him. It was annoying. He fitted them around his middle; they were also much to wide. This big brother seemed to be a giant. Pulling his lips back to reveal the one metal tooth in his otherwise flawless set, he rifled for a belt, and found one. He put the jeans and belt on, tightened the latter, rolled up the bottoms of the legs, put his knife into his pocket, folded those horrible tracksuit pants and left them on the bed, closed the cupboard doors and sneaked back out into the passageway. Time to get back on the job. And tomorrow he’d be owning a better-fitting pair!
He slunk towards the front rooms of the house without any further sound. He could hear someone softly snoring in the back of the house; presumably Marge. The front rooms – lounge, dining room and kitchen – were dark and eerie, the glass eyes of the dead animals following him spookily. He found himself apologising to the spirits of the animals for having been shot by humans. As a Tzigan, even as a young boy he’d snared rabbits and stolen eggs out of birds’ nests; but that went under survival of the familia. These animals looked as though they had been hunted for sports.
He found his way to the front door. The key was in the lock; he was about to reach for it when the door was flung open and he stared into the barrel of a gun.
Hells’ demons, that thing was a hunting rifle! Shadow knew enough about guns to stick his hands over his head and start that shallow breathing. Those things punched holes the size of footballs into a victim. At close range like this, they could turn their quarry into one single explosion of blood and guts. He didn’t even realize that he was making small stammering noises, repeating “nu, nu, nu…” in Romanian under his voice.
“Staan terug!” came the firm order from behind the gun. Shadow couldn’t even look at anything other than that tube full of lurking death, ready to explode in his face. He backed away.
“Teen die muur! Hande bo jou kop, jou verdomde blikskottel! Waar is jou buddies?”
Whatever that meant! “Sorry, I don’t understand,” stammered Shadow, hating himself for allowing the acid of his fear to eat him alive like that. His most precious survival tool, his Tzigan wit, had deserted him entirely.
The light was flicked on, and the gun was lowered, a little bit. Shadow’s eyes flashed momentarily from its evil mouth to the face behind it. A young, very tall blond gadjo with piercing eyes. That was all the gun allowed him before commanding his full attention again.
“Wait a minute,” said the voice behind the hunting rifle. “Who are you? How did you get into the house?”
“Shadow,” stammered the young gypsy. “They call me Shadow. Marge brought me here.” And he pulled himself up straight and faced that gun down. Damn! That was what he was here for: To protect Marge and the girls! “And who are you?” he challenged. “Do you have a right to be in this house, or are you another one of those Barberton Five or Seven?” If he was going down, at least he’d take this monster with him. He deliberately raised his black eyes from the gun to peer at the gadjo’s face. It would be easy to spot that moment of intent and duck in time: the gadjo had light-blue eyes, the pupils were clearly visible. Duck under the gun and ram the guy in his stomach with his head. Aim to flatten him and then wrestle for that gun, plan to discharge it into the ceiling.
“Shadow?” asked the gadjo and lowered his gun entirely. “You are Shadow? The one who rescued my little sister?”
“You’re Lucy’s brother?”
The tall guy laughed and stretched out a hand. He expected it to be shaken? Shadow eyed him suspiciously.
“Richard,” said the man. “I’m Richard. Yes, Lucy’s my little sister.” He laughed and pointed. “Sorry for the fright, man! You wet your pants!”
“Your pants,” replied Shadow before he could stop himself. Richard stared, then laughed out loud.
“Oh my gosh, guess I deserve that!” He beckoned to the lounge set. “Have a seat, Shadow! It’s good to meet you.”
“Not sitting down like this,” objected the gypsy.
Richard led the way back to the room Shadow had just looted, switched the light on and dug another pair of jeans out for the young vagabond. He tossed it at Shadow.
“You can keep that one,” he said. “It’s too small for me.”
Even these jeans was on the border of too long and too wide, but they sat a lot better than the others that now, inevitably, also ended in the wash.
“You took a bit of a beating for my sister,” commented Richard, pointing to Shadow’s bandages. The Tzigan laughed, embarrassed.
“Just hate it when they pick on the children,” he replied. “Richard, I’ve got to fetch my coat. I left it… in a place.”
“You can have one of mine,” offered Richard.
“Was my father’s,” Shadow pointed out. “Don’t worry, I won’t take long.” He fetched his floppy hat from the bathroom and put that on, and allowed Richard to accompany him to the front door.
“Was that where you were off to when I came in?” asked the tall man. Shadow nodded.
“See you bit later then,” said Richard.
“Later,” echoed Shadow and vanished into the night.
Flying dassies, a hunting rifle! The brother of Lucy stalked around at night with a hunting rifle! What on Earth was he hunting?
He had to get himself a rifle like that, thought Shadow. Maybe, just maybe that stuff that had hounded him all across Europe, would go up in a spray of blood and guts…
Elucidation Foreign Terms:
gadjo, gadchey, gadje – non-gypsy (male, female, plural)
modimay (also spelled ‘marime’) – forbidden, unclean, draws with it a curse of being cast out of the tribe
familia – the tribe
Staan terug – stand back
Teen die muur! – against the wall
Hande bo jou kop, – hands above your head
jou verdomde blikskottel! – you accursed tin-dish (I still haven’t managed to figure out why on Earth that is considered a potent insult)
Waar is jou buddies? – Where are your buddies
dassies – rock hyraces
For you who understand German and the backgrounds, this song will be funny. For you who don’t, hang in there – by the end you’ll understand the text anyway. 😀
According to brain neurologist Manfred Spitzer, the worst you can do to a toddler is give them a tablet to play with. You limit their brain development by limiting the time in which they work with real-life objects.
If you really want your child to reach its full potential in adulthood, here’s what he recommends you to do in toddlerhood:
Let the kid have lots of the following:
And take away that iPad!
It’s interesting to note that Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids play with tablets, iPads or computers. He was a bit of a “tiger dad” that way.
Can any of you remember being bored as a kid? Even sometimes? What did you do when you were bored?
Today kids don’t get bored; they are addicted to electronic games and “wipey-phones”. They don’t have enough time to get bored; all their time is filled with reactivity. Kids hate hearing this. Well, cocaine addicts also hate hearing that their drug is damaging them. Addicts stick up for their drug.
Just so by the way: Manfred Spitzer’s stance attracts a lot of ridicule.
The ridicule comes mainly from three sources: People who have a vested interest in selling electronic media and addictive games to kids; parents and educators who would otherwise have to admit to having contributed to ADHD and lowering their children’s intellect (and that might be an unbearable burden of guilt); and games addicts themselves. And not one crit I’ve come across of his work is written in a way that the crit can be taken seriously.
A serious crit is written in a way that it disproves the original piece with counter-evidence, facts and statistics. All these crits on Spitzer’s work do is use ridicule and emotive writing to make the reader feel there’s something wrong with his work – they don’t have the ammo to disprove it.
Food for thought on a Wednesday morning, lovely cloudy weather here in PTA today, have a glorious day!
Sometimes life’s karma creates that “washing machine” effect and you get tumbled around and have your hands full just hanging onto your sanity, never mind your hat.
During such times, focus narrows on the most basic survival issues. Are the kids fed? Are the wolves being kept from the door? Am I maintaining a high enough standard of teaching that my studio doesn’t run away? In times like these, admin falls by the wayside; extras get left out; sometimes critically important stuff is cut back. You’ll sacrifice something. What that is, you’ll either decide, or find out afterwards.
The worst is over, and what remains is basically logistic. We have also managed to pump some fresh energy back into the studio so that hopefully, our students have caught new inspiration. Two performances are finished, now we can look forward.
I’m not yet throwing P’kaboo/Honeymead open to new submissions. Those subs that were accepted and are hanging on, will be processed first. Time frames? I don’t really make predictions, but the effort will be to have everything ready before December. The rewriting of the P’kaboo website for mobile-friendly apps will take some time (it is a large-ish website), probably not in time for December if the other items will be.
Someone said: “I’ve accepted that I can’t ride two horses – I don’t have two asses”. But I’ve never yet accepted that this applies to me! I’ll ride the whole jolly stampeding herd! :-D And the asses with their short little legs will just have to keep up with the horses. (Just now and then – will someone remind me to catch some sleep please?😉 )
Will be posting 2 more reviews from Roughseas, through the week sometime.
~ gipsika ~
Fascinating post – thoughts and comments are invited
Back in the de jure Republic, all you needed to prove Citizenship (of a state of the Union) was a BIRTH RECORD, which could be recorded in a family bible or come from a hospital. But as the default citizenship became FEDERAL (not State) citizenship, i.e. the 14th Amendment citizenship, because that one HAS TO be REGISTERED with the corporate STATE, via a Birth CERTIFICATE.
Hope you realize that a Birth Certificate is a CERTIFICATE, while a Certified Record of Birth is a RECORD OF BIRTH, which just happens to be certified. See how the banksters and their gov’t minions fool the people, in order to deprive them of their Unalienable rights in a Republic, and suck them into their limited-liability scheme, known as Democracy?
I hope you realize that a BIRTH CERTIFICATE is EVIDENCE of TITLE to your body/person, just as a “Certificate of Title” is evidence of…
View original post 1,204 more words
This is super! Hope you don’t mind that I reblog?
There’s no mental illness in the corn and bean fields of a small, rural town. You live simply, graduate high school with the twenty others you began with in kindergarten, start a family at eighteen, and learned to pay the bills. My parents were high school sweethearts, settling in the small town like their parents and brothers and sisters, had my brother two years later. Dad, a factory job driving a forklift. Mom, working as a secretary while she studies at the community college. Working to pay off the house. Needs a new roof.
Seldom when people leave, if they return they return with stories of big cities and slicked back hair, soon enough caught up in the going ons between seasons.
“John got the job as the janitor.”
“Carson’s shed burnt down. Natural fire, so they say. Second one in five years.”
All remains. No streetlights…
View original post 390 more words
Ok I know we had a lot of fun the last round that I posted on narcissism. But it’s actually a very wide and confusing topic, and gives genuine cause for concern.
From unfairly calling the Millennials the “me-generation” to Selfbook facie addiction – to the sensitive issue of how much to praise and how much to crit – if we are going to take responsibility for making our kids (or our students) into narcissists, we actually need the toolkit to counteract that, too!
Let me first clarify one thing again (have already in previous post but just to prevent wise-knowses like myself from raising the point in the comments:)
1) People working in psychology use it interchangeably with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) unless they want to be very specific, when they say “NPD” or “not NPD”.
2) The same people in psychology also use the same word “narcissism” to refer to a set of symptoms, inside or outside NPD. Narcissism is e.g. a part-symptom of psychopathic personality disorder; sociopathic personality disorder; and “Peter Pan Syndrome”. It is part of the disorder but doesn’t describe it completely as there are additional symptoms.
3) To make it worse, in common English the term “narcissism” has found its way into normal, street usage, dropping its psychiatric implications, and simply means a vain, egocentric twit. Lack of empathy, the possibly most damaging feature of true narcissism, can be implied here or not, depending on the context. (Even after editing, my last post had it only partially right. I guess this is called progress, LOL.)
Having sorted that, I guess there are a few interesting questions to discuss. A narcissist, even psychology holds (meaning NPD), is made, not born. So in the first place it would be necessary to establish what causes the typical lack of empathy that narcissism shares with, among other disorders, psychopathy and sociopathy. Could it be that empathy needs to be taught in early childhood, or is it a basic human defect when a child does not develop it by themselves? Parents instinctively teach empathy, especially where there are siblings or even pets: “Be careful with the baby! Don’t pull the dog’s tail – it feels pain just like you do.”
Could it be that if for some reason a child was mollycoddled and not actively taught empathy, it never learns it?
We can imagine (but are we right?) where grandiosity comes from. Too much praise; praise for the wrong stuff. A girl who is repeatedly praised for her natural beauty can become conceited and vain. A child who is praised for (not informed of) talent or inherited intelligence can get delusions of grandeur, believing himself to be cleverer than most. (It’s a fine line between “cleverer than most” and “the cleverest of all”.) Some children have the misfortune of having a parent or grandparent or beloved uncle or aunt who thinks the sun shines out of their precious hinies, and they start believing that it actually does.
I once met an irreparably conceited person who as a child, when taken to a psychologist for not being able to concentrate in school, was told to his face by the psychologist that it wasn’t his fault; it was his parents’ fault; there was nothing wrong with him, he was much cleverer than his parents or teachers, and from that point forward he became completely unmanageable. (That psychologist ought to have been kicked out of the profession!) To this day one can’t carry a conversation with him because he makes it clear that he thinks you’re a fool. Any conversation turns into a monologue of how clever he is.
We must understand, for the sake of the much-maligned Millennials, that giving someone a vaunted ego is not doing them any favour. We have seen so many children broken by the school system, called “stupid” and “slow” and pushed into unnecessary boxes for silly things (like for instance left-handedness), that we tend to flip to the other side of the coin and rather err on boosting a child’s self-confidence. But there’s a fine line.
There are sources that state (I’d like to see their actual research on this) that over-criticizing can also produce a narcissist. All I can say is that I haven’t come across someone like that. All the people who have been bashed by crit and never built by praise, that I’ve met personally (please share if your experience differs) are uncertain of themselves, humble to the point of pain, don’t progress in their career because they don’t feel competent to take on new challenges. They may go down a spiral of self-pity; but I haven’t seen anyone like that get vainglorious and pompous. They tend to avoid attention rather than seek it; try to disappear into the wall rather than stand out. (Sometimes an attempted “attention-suicide” is their subconcious mind’s last-ditch effort to get at least some recognition, even if it’s negative. The question they pose is, “don’t I matter at all? Anyone?”) So don’t mind if I challenge the “sources” to show their research?
True NPD is however said to have uncertainty and a low self-esteem at its very foundation. This is an interesting observation. If I had to guess, it may be because they know deep-down that their “fame” is false; their “achievements” are really quite mediocre and their “superiority” is imaginary. They lie to themselves about these issues; they have a need to receive constant attention, to be constantly praised as “better than”, “so marvellous”, “so clever”, “so pretty”; etc. The more people feed their lies with compliments, the more their basic premise of being “better than you” is nourished and can survive. If the praise goes away, the NPD comes up against a harsh reality: What have I actually achieved, what did I contribute, what is the meaning of my life? And then ultimately (for them): What am I worth?
A mentally healthy person with a realistic self-image (neither a down-trodden victim nor an inflated ego) does not find this question that interesting. The question “who am I” may be more relevant (especially early in life). “What is the meaning of my life” is a question we all visit at times; but not so much with the focus on how others see us but more concerning the content of our life. What’s in my life? Did I bring someone joy today? Did I fulfil my duties? Have I remembered to pay all the creditors this month? (LOL)
I’ll take the instance of the violin teacher, as Eloise describes in her blog post. A teacher can have a powerful influence on a child. (In the example above, even a psychologist who was visited only once or twice, for a few minutes, did a lifetime’s worth of damage!) Teachers cannot fix in a child’s character narcissism planted there by others; but we can try!
As teacher or parent, we have a natural tendency to praise a child when we’re proud of her or him. I don’t feel that this is wrong. We don’t want the next generation to turn into wall-flowers and people who don’t try because they don’t believe they can.
But, what exactly are we praising? Do we praise his intelligence “aww he’s so clever!”? Or do we praise the achievement? “Johnny, you can read! Yay!” (Of course, if Johnny is a normal 14-year-old… :-D I’m reminded of the friendly insulting going on ceaselessly between teenagers.)
The “clever” isn’t something he can do something about. And: He can lose his “clever” – by falling out of a tree and hitting his head. If his entire self-image hinges on being “clever”, which then gets lost – he’s lost everything! Or a girl who has always been praised for her prettiness (and nothing else) developing acne in puberty? Devastating!
I don’t much agree with “Tiger Mother” (“Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother”) and her fairly harsh parenting strategies; but she does have one thing right. If you teach your child some genuine skills and push them to real achievements, you give them a much more solid self-worth than if you laud them for something that really isn’t special. By praising for something unremarkable, we’re making kids into soft ninnies that think every tying of a shoelace is deserving of praise. That’s plain pathetic.
(which hopefully precedes a summary and conclusion😀 )
So in closing, what have we gained from this confusing topic?
Currently I have a deep lack of empathy for those students of mine who are not practising for their exams. Why do you practise for your ballet exam? Why do you attend 3 practices of soccer a week? But not for violin? Fail then, if you must! You take the whole blame for it yourselves. Don’t look at me!
~ gipsika ~