Imaginary Friends, Creativity, Innovation and a few Giggles

Friend
From Who is Your Imaginary Friend?

You’ve got these friends,
That we can’t see,
Is that normal
When you’re three?
I only ask,
Because, you see,
If you weren’t three,
I’m sure that we
Would worry
For your mental health,
And take you off
With measured stealth,
To shrinks,
And folk who nod and smile,
Jotting notes and making files,
Deciding what to label you,
Whilst we would worry
…What to do?
But you are three,
And so I think,
That we can live
Without a shrink,
Without a label and concern,
But at what age
Do these friends turn
From playmates into
Mental woes,
When is it that,
Friends become foes?
I ask because I’m puzzled, see,
Why is it okay when you’re three,
But never okay later on,
Why prescribe drugs ‘til friends are gone?

By PookyH

Shoes

A few months ago an Ask Reddit thread invited users to share tales about their children’s imaginary friends. They got thousands of responses. Below is one of my favourite:

“When I was little my “imaginary” friend was named Bobby, I distinctly remember him existing and being real. On day when I was 5 or 6 I was going somewhere with my aunt and cousins and I was talking to Bobby. My cousin got pissed that I was talking to someone she couldn’t fathom was there (we are same age) .
She unbuckled Bobby’s seatbelt and threw him out of the van. I screamed bloody murder at the top of my lungs and wouldn’t stop, so my Aunt went back for him. She had to turn around twice on the highway and drive really slow because I was the only one who could see him and pick him up. While she was crawling at a snails pace on the highway, she got pulled over by a cop. I was still screaming in the back seat and told the cop that my cousin killed Bobby and she needed to go to jail!

Needless to say my aunt had a hard time trying to explain to the cop that he was my imaginary friend. But while we were pulled over Bobby came up to the car and said he was fine, claimed in through the window. I told my aunt it was ok Bobby was back now. When the officer came back. I told him that Bobby wasn’t dead just hurt.

The officer then proceeded to talk to my aunt for a second and then asked my 6 year old cousin to get out of the car. He told her she was going to jail for trying to kill an imaginary friend and put her in the back of his car for 5 minutes. My cousin never messed with Bobby or me again.”

Loved that policeman’s sense of humour and ingenious response to situation 🙂 . However it does make me wonder, what his response would have been, if the main character of this story was not a young child, but an adult. ;-)

ImaginationsFrom Laughing at Everyday Life

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?  Perhaps it’s time to reunite!

According to Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, imagination is the cornerstone of creativity.  “It’s pretty hard to conceive that anyone could be creative without a rich imagination,” he says.

Today, it’s all about doing things differently and doing different things.  Did you know Google runs 50 to 200 search experiments at any given time?  Innovation and creativity is the lifeblood of growth – organizations who think differently and act quickly as the ones who will break from the pack.  And projects drive the change needed in any organization to survive.

Regrettably, most of us give up on imagination (and leave our pretend friends behind) around grades three to five, when we naturally become more interested in rules. The trick to keeping creativity going, according to Shelley Carson, a researcher and lecturer in pyschology and Harvard University and author of Your Creative Brain, is helping us see that rules and imagination are not at odds.

To keep the creative juices flowing, give yourself time every day to daydream and turn off the critical thinking and eliminate distractions – turn off electronic devices.  And get enough sleep: studies show that creativity declines with lack of sleep.  Who know’s, you just might meet with your long-lost imaginary friend in your dreams. Good night 🙂

ImaginationFrom Imagination

Treasure your imaginary friends 🙂

THE END

 

Other worlds

DreamFrom Anonymous ART of Revolution

When you live in a world,
That you don’t understand,
It’s hard not to reach out,
With a shaking tired hand,
To a world that makes sense,
Though you know that it’s wrong,
Because this is a world,
Where you can sing the song.
This is a world
Where life makes sense to you,
Where the things people say,
And the things people do,
Don’t feel distant and foreign;
Instead they feel right,
You wear this world like a glove,
And you snuggle it tight.
But you know that it’s wrong,
And you know it won’t pay,
To live in this world,
For the rest of your days.
But for now it feels safe,
So you’ll stay for today.
Maybe tomorrow,
You’ll find a new way.

by Pooky H

Addiction
From Pooky’s Poems

“But you know that it’s wrong…”

Is it wrong? Why do you think so? 

THE END

On seeing

“Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.”

Bill Cosby

SeeingFrom AllThingsLearning

“Seeing means perceiving reality as objectively as possible, and things as they are. It means X-ray eyes seeing through celebrities to products being marketed, through a board’s trusted politicians to finances lying hidden (seeing beyound the memes and viruses of the mind).

The greatest poets, scientists, entrepreneurs and managers are so because they see things others don’t, without social norms and herding behaviour blinding them.

Innovation involves seeing possibilities where others see nothing.  Innovation can be a future vision of the unlooked for, longed for event that customers know cannot happen, until it happens.

Seeing involves contrarian spirit and unusual cultural backgrounds.  Fish do not see the water they are swimming in.  Most in mainstream cultures see only what surrounds them and are blinded by it.  People from different cultures (and those with learning or other “disorders”) see different things, or the same things differently, and this gives insight.  Ethnic minorities such as Lebanese, Armenian and Jewish people contribute disproportionately to business, science and creative endeavours.  Nouriel Roubini, of Iranian Jewish descent predicted the bursting of the US housing bubble and the 2008 financial meltdown.

Some people within mainstream cultures do see more clearly than others.  Charles Merrill (who founded Merrill Lynch) anticipated the 1929 crash.  He doubted his own sanity because he disagreed with the collective “group wisdom.”  Merrill could see, and also let others see.  He was a leader in financial transparency, publishing an annual report that revealed his business’s true financial state, and let others see it.

It is important to see the world, not how others have modelled it, and to see the variance and not just the high salient extremes, to see through symptoms to underlying problems.

Seeing also involves granularity; the scale of what is seen, and the ability as William Blake:

“To see a world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour”

(From “Essays on Management: On Seeing” by Peter Winsley)

SandFrom To see a world in a grain of sand

THE END

The course of true love never did run smooth…

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

William Shakespeare

sexes_true_lovefrom Royalty-free cartoons

Most couples have never participated in marriage education of any kind except what they read in newspapers and magazines. No one told them when they married what adjustments they would need to make in the early years of marriage nor did they realize the myths about marriage that they would likely come to believe. Few of us know on our wedding day that our relationship will go through predictable stages as we adjust to being husband and wife.

Jeffry Larson believes that most marriages develop through three main stages, in this order:

Stage 1: Romantic love

Love-wallpaper-by-mrm
From Romantic Love Wallpapers

Most couples get married in a state of romantic love that many describe as ecstasy. That is, our love at this stage in our marriage is primarily sexual, passionate, irrational, and based on physical attraction. You intentionally, although somewhat unconsciously, show your partner only your good side. Our expectations of our partner and the relationship are also irrational during this ‘honeymoon’ period. We may expect our partner to meet all of our needs for acceptance and love. In this stage of marriage, couples report, “Oh, I love him so much—he’s perfect for me!” “I want to make you the happiest woman in the world!” “You have made me the happiest guy in the world!” It’s like whirling around in a tornado of romance.

Stage 2: Disillusionment and distraction

Couple-fighting1
From How To Deal With Disappointment in Marriage

Over time challenges begin to appear in our personal and couple lives. Daily life is stressful by itself. Learning to share the bathroom, working out marital roles, the stress associated with balancing careers and still making time for each other all take a toll on us physically and emotionally, and the vitality of our relationship suffers. These occurrences are not inherently bad—they are an unavoidable part of life. In addition, some of our fantasies just do not come true; for example, we are surprised and even shocked at realizations like these:

  • He isn’t always thinking of me.
  • I thought she was going to work too. Now I have to make all the money, and there isn’t enough.
  • Wow, does he have a temper when he doesn’t get enough rest! Where did that come from?

Personality traits not revealed during courtship or the honeymoon start to appear when you’re under stress—anger not seen before, depression on certain days of the month, or irritability that sometimes goes on for days.

This natural but painful difference between fantasy and reality (discovered months after the wedding) commonly leads to disillusionment.

Stage 3: Dissolution or adjustment with resignation or contentment

couple thinking 2
From Covenant Relationships

By the time couples get to the end of stage 2, they know there is something wrong with their marriage.

You have three options:

  • You can give up, dissolving the relationship through separation or divorce.
  • You can just keep on trying to survive, day to day, in an unsatisfying marriage—I call this adjusting with resignation. There is little love in such a marriage.
  • You can decide to be more content. Adjusting with contentment occurs when you still love each other but your love has become more like a good friendship with some passion thrown in. Altruistic love may have developed by now too. This is the self-giving kind of love that is kind and patient, not demanding. Real love of a real person, that survived the loss of illusions created in our minds by the myths and memes of romantic love.

still-in-love-2From Love never fades

from ‘Overcoming Myths about Marriage’ by Jeffry H. Larson

Related posts:

THE END

The most romantic love story…

 Romantic love grandma granddad

According to the “Happy ever after” romantic myths and fairy tales one only has to find a special partner and everything will be happy ever after. Supported by novels, songs, movies, television & magazines, this “Happy ever after” meme became one of the most pervasive viruses  of the mind in the 20th century. Although romantic love like this is mother nature’s way of attracting men and women to each other, love alone is not anywhere near enough for a life-long stable relationship. What else is required for a healthy long-term relationship?

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis suggests the following 7 keys to a healthy and happy relationship:

1. Mutual Respect
If you don’t have this – well, it’s going to be a tough road. This doesn’t mean you agree with everything your partner says or does. It does mean that you have admiration for each other, and steady undercurrent of love and trust throughout your relationship. You also have each other’s back. Abuse, whether it is physical, verbal, or emotional, defies mutual respect in every way, shape and form.  You have to have mutual respect to have a healthy relationship.

2. Arguing, not fighting
I’ve never seen a healthy couple that doesn’t argue. They never fight, however.  If a couple comes into my office and tells me they’ve never argued, something isn’t quite right. You can argue without fighting.  Arguing is non-combative – you and your partner state your points of view without name-calling or raising your voice.  Sometimes you agree to disagree – and that’s okay.

3. Agreement on Sex
You’re both okay with how often you have sex, how you have sex, where you have sex…and there’s mutual participation.  Sex is not withheld as a punishment.  And if you or your partner are not comfortable with any aspect of your sex life, you can talk about it openly, without criticism.

4. Agreement on Parenting
If the two of you don’t agree on a parenting style, you need to talk. You may have each grown up with different parenting styles – and we each tend to parent the same way we were parented.  If you don’t have kids yet but are thinking about it, you must, must, must have this conversation with your partner.

5. Equality with Money
Money is one of the major causes of frustration in marriage and family relationships therefore the skill of financial harmony is essential for healthy long-term relationship. Understanding and respecting the value that each partner places on money as well as open communication are important for developing financial harmony. Even if one of you makes more money than the other, you both have an equal say about where your money goes. There are no “hidden accounts”, and you decide together before you make large purchases.

6. Common Goals and Values
Couples with very different interests can have healthy relationships – what counts is that they share common goals and values.  Couples of different religions (or non-religion) and cultural backgrounds can have healthy relationships – what makes a healthy relationship is sharing core beliefs.  You may both share the belief that giving back to your community is important. You may both share the belief that extended family members are welcome to live with you at any time. Values and beliefs differ for everyone.

Common goals include intangibles like raising happy and healthy children, and tangibles like saving up for a house.  You can work together on setting one-year, five-year, even ten- and twenty-year goals.  Working towards something together strengthens your bond.

7. Fun
“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” – Joanne Woodward. Enough said. Make time to have fun.  Life gets too serious without receiving regular doses of humour. 🙂

love-old-coupleFrom Love Never Fades

Resources:

Related posts:

THE END

She married her handsome prince and they lived happily ever after…

I’m sure you’ve seen this meme in lots of fairy tales. A dream of so many Cinderellas. Is life with princes really so sweet and happy? With some princes it might be, but with others… let’s have a look at a few real life stories.

Praskovya (1767 – 1803)
( Photo from www.russia.rin.ru )

“I felt the most tender and passionate feelings for her” – Sheremetev wrote about Praskovya in 1809. … Not that it started out that way.

The young count was fond of hunting and of chasing girls: and until his father died in 1788, when he took up the running of the family estates, Nikolai Petrovich spent most of his time in these sensual pursuits. The young squire often claimed his “rights” over the serf girls. During the day, while they were at work, he would go around the rooms of the girls on the estate and drop a handkerchief through the window of his chosen one. That night he would visit her and, before he left, would ask her to return his handkerchief. …

It is not exactly clear when the count and Praskovya became de facto “man and wife”. To begin with, she was only one of several serf “divas” given special treatment by her master. He named his favourite singers and dancers after jewels – “the Emerald” (Kovaleva), “The Garnet” (Shlykova) and “The Pearl” (Praskovya)… Everything suggests that they were the count’s harem – not least the fact that just before his marriage to Praskovya he had the rest of them married off and gave them all dowries. …

By the beginning of the 1790s Praskovya had become Sheremetev’s unofficial wife. It was no longer just the pleasures of the flesh that attracted him to her but, as he said, the beauty of her mind and soul as well. For the next ten years the count would remain torn between his love for her and his own high position in society. He felt that it was morally wrong not to marry Praskovya but his aristocratic pride would not allow him to do so. Marriages to serfs were extremely rare in the status-obsessed culture of the eighteenth-century Russian aristocracy … and unthinkable for a nobleman as rich and grand as him…

In the theatre the public sympathized with the unequal lovers and applauded the basic Enlightment ideal that informed such works: that all people are equal. But it did not take the same view in real life… Praskovyas situation was extremely difficult. Resented by the serfs, she was also shunned by society. It was only through her strength of character that she managed to retain her dignity.”

( from Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia by Orlando Figes )

* * *

Jan van Leyden (1509-1536)
from www.answers.com

The Dutch Anabaptist Jan Van Leyden (John of Leiden 1509-1536) led the Anabaptist attempt to establish by force a “kingdom of God” in Münster, Germany. They terrorized the rest of the citizens, also in the name of equality but equal under John the despot, who kept a harem. The kingdom satisfied one of the recurrent dreams of the occidental mind: community of goods and of women.

The traditional story of the introduction of polygamy in Münster is that van Leyden introduced polygamy to satisfy his lust for Jan Matthijas’ wife Divara. There are also stories that tell of van Leyden being seen sneaking into the rooms of a woman other than his wife and introducing polygamy to legitimate his actions. Adding to the evidence suggesting that van Leyden’s personal desires were at play is the fact that he took more wives than any other citizen in Münster, eighteen.

One of the most important social factors leading to the introduction of polygamy was the imbalance between numbers of men and women in the city of Münster after the ejection of those who refused baptism. Estimates are that in 1534, almost three-quarters of the adult population of Münster was female. Many women who had lived in Münster prior to the expulsion of those who refused to submit to adult baptism were left when their husbands were expelled from the city. It appears that the women were not forcibly expelled with the men. Their husbands often left them in Münster with their children to maintain the household and businesses until the men were able to return. Although some of these women may have had sympathies with the Anabaptists, many of them are likely to have desired the return of exiled men. These women will have been seen as threats to the stability of the Anabaptist control of Münster.

Something was going to shift in the role women played in society. The situation could, for instance, have turned into a moment in history when women were granted additional rights and responsibilities in society. But with Jan van Leyden’s theology greater freedom for women was not in the cards.

On July 23, 1534, Jan van Leyden announced the institution of polygamy. He ordered that all marriages contracted under the previous system were no longer valid. All single women were to be married, including those whose husbands were no longer around. A man who impregnated his wife was required to take another, and a third if he impregnated the second.

John’s name still lives on in the Netherlands in the saying ‘zich met een Jan(tje) van Leiden van iets afmaken’, which means ‘getting something done with pretty but empty words’.

(from www.answers.com )

 * * *

Lev Tolstoy 1828 – 1910

“Tolstoy’s diaries are filled with details of his conquests of the female serfs on his estate – a diary he presented, according to the custom, to his bride Sonya on the eve of their wedding… In addition to the thirteen children Sonya bore, there were at least a dozen other children fathered by him in the villages of his estate.

Sonya was eighteen when she married Tolstoy – rather young by European standards but not by Russian ones. Eighteen was in fact the average age of marriage for women in nineteenth-century Russia – far younger than even in those pre-industrial parts of western Europe.

Later Tolstoy would confess that he had ‘acted badly and cruelly – as every husband acts towards his wife. I gave her all the hard work, the so-called “women’s work”, and went hunting or enjoyed myself.”

( from Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia by Orlando Figes )

* * *

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria
1899 – 1953

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Soviet politician and chief of the Soviet security and police apparatus. Beria is now remembered chiefly as the executor of Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s, even though he actually presided only over the closing stages of the purge. He was in charge of the Katyn executions, where over 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia were murdered.

Charges of sexual assault and sexual sadism against Beria were first made in the speech by a Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Nikolay Shatalin, at the Plenary Meeting of the committee on July 10, 1953, two weeks after Beria’s arrest. Shatalin said that Beria had had sexual relations with numerous women and that he had contracted syphilis as a result of his sex with prostitutes. Shatalin referred to a list (supposedly kept by Beria’s bodyguard) of over 25 women with whom Beria had sex. Over time, however, the charges became more dramatic. Khrushchev in his posthumously published memoirs wrote: “We were given a list of more than 100 names of women. They were dragged to Beria by his people. And he had the same trick for them all: all who got to his house for the first time, Beria would invite for a dinner and would propose to drink for the health of Stalin. And in wine, he would mix in some sleeping pills…” Afterwards he would drop off his charge and the chaffuer would give them a boquet of flowers. One pregnant victim, having refused his advances, was accidentally given the flowers. On noticing Beria shouted “it’s not a boquet, it’s a wreath. May they rot on your grave”. She was later arrested.

By the 1980s, the sexual assault stories about Beria included the rape of teenage girls. The author Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, who wrote a biography of Beria, mentions in an interview a specific sexual game Beria is said to have forced upon young girls before picking one of them to be raped. This alleged practice got the name “Beria’s Flower Game”.

Numerous stories have circulated over the years involving Beria personally beating, torturing and killing his victims.

( from Wikipedia )

* * *

Uday

Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
18 June 1964 – 22 July 2003

Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (Arabic: عُدي صدّام حُسين‎) was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah, and the brother of Qusay Hussein.

He was a monster even by the standards of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a sadist with a taste for cruelty so extreme that even his father was forced to acknowledge that his first-born son would not be a worthy heir.

Uday’s excesses carried over in his private life where he had a reputation for ordering any girl or woman who caught his eye to be brought to his private pleasure dome.

A report released on 20 March 2003, one day after the American led invasion of Iraq, by ABC news detailed several allegations against Uday, including:

  • Kidnapping young Iraqi women from the streets in order to rape them. Uday was known to intrude on parties and otherwise “discover” women whom he would later rape. Time published an article in 2003 detailing his sexual brutality.
  • Beating an army officer unconscious when the man refused to allow Uday to dance with his wife; the man later died of his injuries. Uday also shot and killed an army officer who did not salute him.

From Wikipedia and
Uday: career of rape, torture and murder

 * * *

Russian proverb from the “good old days”: “Do not promote me to Corporal, but do not touch my wife”

Ox
( Photo by blast99 )

THE END