Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wondering

A few days ago, I stayed by my laptop through the night feeling my distress grow hour by hour. Ever since that morning the same thoughts have been circling in my mind: the notion of the seven deadly sins. Dante’s Divine Comedy lists them as pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust. (For my Finnish readers: ylpeys (turhamaisuus), kateus, viha, laiskuus, ahneus, ylensyönti, himo.) Even though the deadly sins or capital vices are no longer that familiar to an everyman those qualities are the exact opposite to what is generally appreciated and valued in any person.


I have also been thinking about personality disorders, especially the narcissistic one. It is manifested by grandiosity, an unrealistic sense of superiority, a need for admiration, a demand for preferential treatment, manipulation, envy or a belief of being envied, lack of empathy, arrogance and impudence. When you add pathological lying and the lack to comply with the rules and regulations in society because you believe you are so superior laws couldn’t possibly be meant for you, we have a ‘fine’ example of a sociopath.

I do not know what kind of genetic predispositions or early disturbances are required to make someone become like that. I do not understand how some people manage to live their whole life without ever maturing to adulthood. But most of all it is beyond me that time and time again the true nature of these kinds of climbers and upstarts is being left unnoticed by so many. We have seen it happen repeatedly in history, more than once with catastrophic outcome. We are seeing it happening in the ‘newer democracies’ in Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East, recently even in some older ones in Europe. Just think about Italy only a few years ago. Our eastern neighbour is wrestling in a league of its own, not to mention the many nations that haven’t been even close to any kind of democracy yet.


What is it that makes great proportions of nations time and again fall under the charm of persons motivated by little more than narcissism, self-seeking and/or greed? This is so much beyond me that one of these days I must have a serious discussion about this with my son who has a degree in social psychology.



For quite some time now, I’ve been wondering about the endurance of the man in the street. How long will the ordinary man and woman consent to funding society and propping up the Earth while the ‘rich and mighty’ are taking – and indeed allowed to take – all kinds of measures not only to increase their wealth further but to skip any kind of social responsibility? I can’t help feeling a major clash is lurking around the corner. Electing leaders with low-minded inclinations, let alone with such a track record, certainly doesn’t offer any hope in finding cures for the serious progressive disease the world is suffering from. Amen to that. I’m done with public preaching. Sorry hubby, I can’t promise I’ll be able stop at home.



The photos of this post do not have any connection with the text other than through the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). The statue of him by sculptor Enrico Pazzi on the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence was inaugurated in 1865 to commemorate the sixth centenary of his birth. The cenotaph by Stefano Ricci inside the basilica was completed in 1830.

OK, perhaps also a bit through the façade of the Basilica di Santa Croce. The church, the largest Franciscan basilica in the world dating from 1385, had a modest stone façade for centuries until the present neo-Gothic all-marble one designed by Niccolò Matas was completed in the mid-1860s, again to commemorate Dante’s birth. For the most part, the construction was funded by donations from a certain Francis Joseph Sloane. He was a librarian and tutor turned manager of mines who gained enormous wealth in Italy. I don’t think it’s that far-fetched to assume donations like this were often made not only to boost one’s ego in this world but to slip through the gates to the next one.



6 comments:

  1. I certainly do agree with you on this, yet, the world is most multifaceted and so are the people in it. There ARE people completely opposite to Donalds but in a world that values money ordinary people are easily attracted to the lure of something imaginary propagated by a person with such personal charisma, if you like. So, today there is every reason to be worried about our future. As there is nothing much I can do about it I'm actually more concerned about your distress than other things, yet, feeling sure it is a passing pain.

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I am not expecting the clash to happen any time soon, perhaps not in my lifetime. However, I feel humankind has been sliding too far to the wrong direction and is continuing further and further. It doesn't lessen my sadness it is most likely not us but posterity who would have to face that. In my mind, as there is no sign of any fairer and more humane global movement yet, a major change is bound to happen at one point, unless the millennials are a completely different kind of human breed and will make it happen amicably. That doesn't seem very likely in this age of frivolities, I'm afraid.

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  2. How many people feel as you do, and I do. Surely in the end sense will prevail. Certainly with Trump at lot of it was electioneering. I wonder how much of what he says will come to fruition. But at the end of the day there are so many people disenchanted with their lot in life. Brexit happened for the same reason. As you say something has to change. For the better hopefully. B xx

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    1. True. I am not concerned about any single event but about the spirit of this age of greed when it is considered 'smart' to avoid taxes, especially by most of those who would have the power to make a real difference (ie more money pouring in annually than anyone could ever possibly use, let alone need, in a lifetime no matter what). And about the fact that it is the wrong kind of people who are holding all the important strings in society most everywhere.

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  3. I too share your concerns, we saw one of our ex politicians at an event over the weekend and he could see similarities to what had happened in the world in the 1930's. My hope is that sense will prevail and the majority of the young didn't vote for the outspoken candidates. Sarah x

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    1. I haven't lost hope yet but I feel a solution will not be reached through the current political parties and structures, not to mention politicians. I feel the world would need a new kind of global movement with an intelligent, right-minded and charismatic leader who would unite nations behind a true change of global scale. As Mr Mandela is no longer with us I am counting on Mr Obama to assume such a role rather soon after the Oval Office...

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