Posted in ageing, depression, kindness, loving kindness, managing change, mental health, positive self talk, resilience, social behaviour, wellbeing, workplace conditions

David Brent

Why shouldn’t here be a song about Slough as there are songs about New York, Paris, Chicago? There are films about the Snowy River, Paris, Seattle. Why not Slough? Why don’t North American Indians call themselves pelican names when they are happy with Sitting Bull, Hawkeye, Lone Wolf? Why can’t people have mental legs as they do a mental head? Why do we think one person is weird and another one is okay? Why shouldn’t we have songs about anything we like? The French make songs about cucumbers, run away dogs, picnics, voyeurs, cigarettes. I didn’t know what I was going to get when I went to see David Brent. I just knew I liked Ricky Gervais and what he stood for. I know he is a complex thinker and can fight effectively for animal rights. I know I liked The Office .The film is set in and around Slough, Berkshire where Ricky Gervais was born. The humour is British and I had some really good laughs throughout the film. It’s a complex film, though, and not to be given a post modern reading. You listen to the song lyrics, you know the actor is being a character you know who is then reflecting on that character. The film questions how we define normality and how we define mental illness. It clearly examines how mental illness is not a disease, it’s not an illness as such, but a person with hopes, thoughts, dreams, relationships and more than anything, feelings. A person is not this bit or that bit but a collection of traits, experiences and thoughts and is a whole . It’s a Gestalt reading of human behaviour. We are not our fatness or thinness or our job or the clothes we put on. We are all sorts of things and some of those things are transient, some of them are determined as acceptable by the norms of society. He questions political correctness, body image, language usage, content of popular culture, work place expectations. It is a film which puts everything under a lens but not in an arduous way. It’s thought provoking and it makes you wonder. If you are familiar with people with mental illness there is a lot which you can relate to. You could even be asking yourself well, maybe it’s not right to call someone that when all they are is a square peg in a round hole. Who are we to put down and judge? Where did we get the parameters from to judge them? You don’t ask yourself that, though. You look at the film and realise people are people and they are all on the road of life trying to get somewhere and trying to do their best at getting there. I really enjoyed this film and I am glad I went to see it. It will be one of my favourite films. I need to think about it some more!

Posted in be kind, loving kindness, positive self talk, positive thinking

Be kind to people…

It is not always easy to be kind to others or to think kindly of them. It’s harder when they have really done soemthing to hurt you or they have really hurt someone you care about. As you get older you learn to deal with nastiness and unpleasantness better. You can shrug a lot of it off or you can get it into perpective more quickly. Those who lash out or who do the most unthinkably hurtful things which create a major problem for the recipient of their horrible behaviour are often in a bad state of mind and at crisis point themselves. We always like to find the reasons. When you are at the receiving end of it you just have to learn to rise above it, recover your dignity and reassert yourself. You do that by being who you are and following the values you believe in. Challenging behaviour from others, which temporarily throws you into disarray, chaos, personal pain and immobility, requires the help of others- your network, the people who love you, the people you can trust. It’s good to believe you can always be kind to people but you should never let someone who does you harm get away with it. You can ignore it and remove them from your life. You can take some firm action to show them they cannot treat you like that. Sometimes you have to just deal with it however you can. The main thing is to do something so you are not disempowered.