Motivation to Learn when in Despair. LO28597

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 05/24/02

Replying to LO28588 --

Dear Michael, hello readers,

Fear, angst, uncertainty, despair motivate us to organize; We seek support
in each other, love togetherness and devotion. Combining our weaknesses
makes us stronger, we feel safe. Organizations seem to take over
responsibility, the care - we sometimes call them mother-organisation.
There is an organization in The Netherlands that has the slogan "We
Care!". We do no longer feel fear, uncertainty etc when the organisations
take them over. However, after some time organisations tend to act like
"shifting the burden" and "addiction loops". We trade-in our motivation in
order to be managed.

The unintended consequences are splitting and projection of emotions. This
generates the paradoxes of group life. Other unintended consequences are
"accidental adversaries". In the, rush to offer protection to their
members, organisations seem to compete, were they better had co-operated.
We generate inter-group conflicts, just in order to reduce fear, angst,
uncertainty and despair. These inter-group conflicts (also called
competition, strife or war) bring back fear on a higher level. We now fear
dismissal, lay-offs, rejection. As we have shifted the burden of emotion
to the organization, we still have not learned to live with our emotions.
feelings are part of life, part of learning. You can hide your feelings,
but you cannot run away from them. We've become disabled to live outside
the group. We've failed.There is no safety in numbers. Safety in numbers
makes us feel numb.

We should learn each other to accept ourselves, our emotions, our
feelings. Acknowledging fear, death, rejection is difficult, noteably when
you have never had the need to learn that. Considering the worst that can
befall you is one step, but you also have to learn how to handle the
projections and introjections. Most people only learn that next time, next
organisation they will build in more safety measures, will work harder and
say less (or yes). Most will live silently, in despair, hoping for
redemption, deliverance, release, safety, hoping that the fate of others
will not befall them. Perhaps we need more midwifes.

Take care,

Jan wrote:

> I cannot begin to imagine what advice would benefit the family situation
> you describe. The picture you paint of South Africa is bleek and I find
> it difficult to relate to it from my experience (perspective) living in
> Chicago and my experiences in traveling around the world.
> ....
> I just finished working with a group of people in New York state who work
> for a large organization that is downsizing. Many of the people act like
> victims of change and do little to gain some degree of control of their
> destiny. They feel and act powerless. Part of my work points out that
> many pathways exist. There is not one pathway or just one outcome. We
> all make choices, sometimes those choices are difficult. I make a choice
> to let outside forces cast me where they may, I also make a choice to try
> to do something. When people let fear control them, to some degree thy
> freeze their mind and become quite rigid. New possiblities may stare them
> in the face, but you cannot see them from a rigid perspective.
> The picture you paint is bleek. I certainly do not know how I would act
> if I were the one in that position. But, it seems like once people can
> accept (in their minds and in their hearts) the worst thing that could
> happen they are in a position to open their minds. Fear no longer
> controls them.


With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

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