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The Axioms of Evil by Nigel Bailey, Pyrmont Therapist

therapist pyrmont The Axioms of Evil by Nigel Bailey, Pyrmont Therapist

This article has been written by Nigel Bailey of Becalm in Pyrmont. Nigel is a fully-qualified professional counsellor and psychotherapist.

We don’t need reminding that the future, at least in the short term is fraught with uncertainty. The language of downturn, recession, retrenchment and bail-out pervades all discussion. Every newscast compounds our worst fears; an uncontrollable beast has broken loose, the sky might fall at any minute. As axioms go, The Global Financial Crisis may yet surpass The War on Terror as the pretext de jour for all that is going and may yet go wrong. In both cases, we might be forgiven for believing that things are beyond our control and as global markets tumble we must prepare for the worst.

We take so much for granted after all. Clean water rushes from our taps; the lights come on at the flick of a switch; the fridge is full of food. We have never had it so good. How will we cope if it all goes bad?

George Monbiot predicts that modern civilisations may be no more that ‘four missed meals from anarchy’*. Certainly as we fight for parking spaces this Christmas, socialise effortlessly with those we despise, or thinly mask our glee as colleagues are escorted from the premises; we should also perhaps reflect upon our own ability to adapt to the ever-changing laws of the jungle. What will we do? How far will we go?

When greed was good, we were greedy. We were defined as much by what we had; by the work that we did, as for any human qualities we might possess. We were happy to ‘have’, if genuine happiness was ever at issue. Certainly we would have been foolish to let others push past us, winners were grinners after all. It would be fair to say that at some point in this process we lost our sense of self, lost touch with our humanity and the natural wealth that we possess. We lost the plot and now we might lose a whole lot more.

Sometimes it helps to step outside; to look at things from a different perspective. In therapy I encourage my clients to examine their beliefs; to explore their perceptions through a new lens. Together we unpack the baggage that they have accumulated in the course of their travels, keeping what we need and discarding what we don’t. In working together we construct an alternative narrative that defines who they really are; their story in their words, not ones that have been put into their mouths.

I am constantly impressed by our capacity to help ourselves, to think things through and adapt to our circumstances. Times may be bad but we’ll be right.

*George Monbiot, “Bring on the Apocalypse – Six Arguments for Global Justice” Atlantic Books: London 2008

© Nigel Bailey 2008.

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