Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grassroots work in the Roma community

"All the Roma professionals who were interviewed had great hand-on experience working with Roma at the grassroots level, and also in international institutions. Most of us had very little or no experience with sugar-coating failures, accepting and supporting poor decisions of senior management, promoting practices that waste huge amounts of money in useless meetings, huge consultancy fees, and irrelevant trainings. In other words… none of us had worked for the European Commission.

What message did I get out of this? That if I want a job as a bureaucrat, the skills that matter are to have low energy, to accept poor decisions made by others around me, to be able to present failures as success, and to have a non-threatening personality. The glass ceiling is concrete solid when it comes to Roma. Roma participation is indeed very important as long as is done from a very safe distance." 

More here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lincoln's depression

"Much research suggests," Alloy has written, "that when they are not depressed, people are highly vulnerable to illusions, including unrealistic optimism, overestimation of themselves, and an exaggerated sense of their capacity to control events. The same research indicates that depressed people's perceptions and judgments are often less biased."

"Throughout his life Lincoln's response to suffering—for all the success it brought him—led to greater suffering still. When as a young man he stepped back from the brink of suicide, deciding that he must live to do some meaningful work, this sense of purpose sustained him; but it also led him into a wilderness of doubt and dismay, as he asked, with vexation, what work he would do and how he would do it."

 "Lincoln saw how man's reason could discern purpose even in the movement of a vast machine that grinds and cuts and mashes all who interfere with it. Just as a child learns to pull his hand from a fire, people can learn when they are doing something that is not in accord with the wider, unseen order."

".. he was always inclined to look at the full truth of a situation, assessing both what could be known and what remained in doubt. When faced with uncertainty he had the patience, endurance, and vigor to stay in that place of tension, and the courage to be alone."

 Full article here.