Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bob Plutchik !

When I’m happy I buy myself flowers. When I’m anxious I begin a new jigsaw puzzle. And when I’m depressed I get the chocolate box :)But when I’m confused about my feelings I get Bob’s Flower !

The “academic” name for my flower is Plutchik’s Emotions Model. I am sure most of you have come across it in school if you had any psychology classes. I have only began to appreciate its value recently.

The single petal of the flower represents a single dimension of increasing/decreasing intensity. For example: serenity, joy and ecstasy represent one dimension of escalating intensity. The opposite petal (grief, sadness and pensiveness) represent the opposite dimension. So in total there are 4 basic opposing emotional dimensions.

The core circle shows how close and yet superficially different are the basic emotions. For example, check how close terror to admiration and amazement!

Most interestingly to me is the complex emotions representation in this model. Complex emotions are shown in the space between the flower petals. Each complex emotion is a result of the basic emotions on both sides. For example, love is a combination of feeling acceptance and serenity.

When you close down the flower you see the relations between the different intensity levels of the basic emotions. You can see how sadness, disgust and surprise are very close in their cores.

What I love most about this model is that it gives you the vocabulary to name you feelings most of the times, especially when your feelings are complex.

The other thing I like about it is that it helps a lot explaining what we perceive as “weird” relationships. For example: it makes sense why some people “admire” someone like Saddam Hussein when you see how easily people can confuse terror with admiration. Or why some express their rage as loathing or hate.

On of the things I still get confused with is whether I feel fear or lack of trust. Why am I uncomfortable with X person? Does she scare me? Or is it a trust issue? Or is the fear caused by the mistrust? It was a relief to me to know that the two are not very much different in their mechanism.

What I find challenging is finding the right Arabic word for each feeling that can easily distinguish the difference in dimension and in density. It is established that some cultures do not really have words for some of the feelings in this model.

My Question: Do you agree with the model? How can it benefit you? Have you ever suffered the confusion between to adjacent dimensions?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

عالم ليس لنا

ما الذي يجعل دولة موطنا؟ الجنسية؟ الآلاف من البدون في الكويت يشهدون بعكس ذلك. مسقط الرأس؟ يمكننا سؤال الملايين من المهجرين والمغتربين من الجيل الثاني والثالث من العرب في البلاد والغربية وسيختلفون معنا. العلاقات والذكريات؟ هل يعني ذلك ان ابناء الدبلوماسيين لا أوطان لهم؟ هل معنى ذلك ان كل دولة لي فيها ذكريات جميلة يمكن أن تكون موطنا لي؟ هل الوطن هو حيث الأهل والعائلة وأصدقاء الطفولة؟ هل يعني ذلك انني لو جمعت أهلي وأصحابي وهاجرت لدولة أخرى ستكون هذه الدولة موطنا جديدا لي؟ هل هو جمال البلاد؟ طبيعتها؟ شهرتها؟ رخاؤها؟ خدماتها؟ حقوقي وواجباتي فيها؟ هل موطني هو الدولة التي تمنحني الاحترام والحرية والعدالة؟ كيف يمكن للعراقيين اذن ان يسموا العراق موطنا؟ ما الذي يجعل فلسطين موطن بعض الفلسطينيين واسرائيل موطن بعضهم الآخر؟ هل هما فعلا موطنان مختلفان؟! ما هو في الوطن الذي يجعلنا نتغنى: بلدي وان جارت علي عزيزة؟

أثناء الغزو توفرت لي فرص عديدة للخروج من الكويت بأمان ولكني رفضت لأنني اعتبرت ذلك خيانة عظمى. الآن عندما يسألني الآخرون أجيب ساخرة بانني سأسابق سيارة ... للحدود! ولكن بيني وبين نفسي لدي شك حقيقي بأنني سأصمد مرة أخرى لو تكرر الوضع لا سمح الله

عندما كنت
صغيرة كان ينتابني ذعر شديد من السفر خارج موطني وترك بيتي وأهلي وأصدقائي حتى لو كان سفرا قصيرا وممتعا. كنت أعود بشوق ولهفة لكل شيئ .. بما في ذلك الغبار والرطوبة والحر. الآن يصيبني الاكتئاب اللحظة التي تحط بها الطائرة مطار الكويت. أشكال المسافرين كافية لتذكيري بالعته والتخلف والغباء وقلة الذوق التي جعلتني اتغرب داخل وطني

قد يكون العمر ، وقد تكون التجارب المريرة وربما تكون الممارسات السافرة التي نراها من أولي الأمر دون احتجاج يذكر من الشعب العزيز .. بصراحة لا أدري ، ولكن شعوري العام هو انني لا انتمي. كانني كائن فضائي غريب متفرج على الأوضاع .. أشعر انني في عالم ليس لنا

سؤالي: كيف تعرّف الشعور الوطني؟ ما الذي يجعل الكويت وطنك؟

Friday, November 10, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Chinese Crackpots!

I received this great story by e-mail, not sure who wrote it, and felt Compelled to share. Sorry for those of you who already read it.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the Stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? "

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."

"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you we would have no beauty to grace the house."

We all have our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path.

My Question: Where is your "crack" (as in flaw or imperfection for those of you with dirty minds) ? What flowers did it help you grow?