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challenge yourself: accept reality

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It’s often the case that we confuse reality with *that which we would like to be true*. I’ve noticed this several times lately - I feel that politicians are particularly prone.

Currently, in the UK there’s a big furore over the recommendation of the independent advisory panel that ecstasy should be reclassified as a drug - it currently stands in the same group as heroin and crystal meth, and the advisory group have, upon looking at the evidence, suggested that it is not quite as dangerous as that. Now, in this circumstance the decision is entirely political. Ecstasy is nowhere near as addictive or as dangerous as most other class A drugs, but the chances of the moral majority believing that are remote to non-existent.

In a very different, but similar vein, there’s a lot of stress on banks in the UK not to pay out bonuses to their staff. Now, my company has a pay freeze and I do in many ways blame bankers for being the catalyst for our current problems, but some people who work for banks have contractual guaranteed bonuses. This means that if they are not paid, they are more than entitled take the banks (their employers) to court with, as far as I can tell, a reasonable chance that the bank workers will win. Wishing that the contracts were not written in this way, will not make it true.

It’s very hard to challenge our assumptions and beliefs, but it’s essential to do if we want to remain grounded in reality, if we aren’t grounded in reality it will almost certainly come back to bite us. i would very much like it to be true that I have a higher income, but that’s not the case. I can work to get a higher income, but really I should challenge the idea that having more money coming in would make me either happier, or richer, because in reality by itself more money isn’t enough.

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4 comments for “challenge yourself: accept reality”

  1. Agreed on both counts. I recently also wrote a post about the status of pot in the US, as reflected in the crazy Phelps fire storm.

    I also agree with you about the bankers bonuses, and wrote a post about that too recently.

    It is amazing to me that folks are willing to take counter productive actions, in order to appear or think of themselves as moral and just. Just goes to show you, humanity is crazy.

    Posted by Shadox | February 14, 2009, 3:50 am
  2. @Shadox:
    We’re doomed! Actually, I think the pace of change is just really, really slow. Eventually we’ll have moved to the right place on these issues and there will be something else for people to ignore the facts on.

    The pot thing is weird because such a large proportion of people have tried it at some point, and a significant minority are, or have been, regular consumers. Yet, it’s somehow magically a *really bad thing*. Whatever.

    Posted by plonkee | February 14, 2009, 10:09 am
  3. Ecstacy is legal in Britain?! I thought the drug was banned outright by like every single country in the world, other then a few who allowed its use through loop holes.

    As for the use of pot, it may not be a bad thing but is it really a good thing? The media portrayal of the Phelp’s incident was idiotic at best. As if anyone even knows more then 5 people who’ve never smoked before haha.

    As for the current banking problems and such, the banks are obligated to pay out what they legally have to. If I were working at one, I’d for one want my bonus that I was intitled too. If anyone thinks thats unfair, wait a few months and lets count how many of those people still have their jobs in the banking system eh.

    Posted by brick wall fireplace | February 24, 2009, 10:44 pm
  4. Ecstasy is illegal but in the UK there are 3 classes of drugs (A,B,C) with differing penalties for each class.

    Smoking pot isn’t really good for you. But it isn’t the end of the world either.

    Posted by plonkee | February 25, 2009, 8:06 pm

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