Things don’t fall apart suddenly

A leak in the roof of a house will drip by drip gradually weaken the structural walls until the foundations give way and the house collapses. When small repairs are not carried out they become big problems. A health crisis is preceded by many small aches and pains. A relationship breakdown will have a long history of hurts, insults, and betrayals. A company’s bankruptcy comes after years of poor management and missed opportunities.

The seeds of the failed nation are sown with the gradual growth of the tentacles of corruption, poor government, and nepotism. Countries such as Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Argentina, and my home country South Africa once had booming economies but are today sad reminders of how fast the rot can set in.

In the 1990s the South African city centers of Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria were bustling with excellent restaurants, jazz clubs, theatres, and parks. Visitors from many countries could move around fairly safely. Today these same areas are a sad conglomerate of dilapidated buildings with broken windows and ransacked and gutted interiors. The pot-holed streets are littered with trash and any tourist walking through these areas would be risking their life. It did not come overnight. The rot was gradual after years of mismanagement and corruption by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

When Vladimir Putin took over from Russian president Boris Yeltsin in the year 1999, several critics warned that the former KGB agent was a dangerous threat to democracy. Western leaders simply failed to see the early warning signs that presaged Russia’s ever-greater slide into authoritarianism as journalists, opposition politicians, and businessmen were poisoned, shot, or imprisoned. Turning a blind eye eventually led to the invasion of the sovereign country Ukraine.

A successful company begins to decline when market signals are ignored and customers are taken for granted or their complaints are ignored. How many successful brand names of the past are today no more. Some iconic brand names that have disappeared are Pan Am, once the world’s largest air carrier, Polaroid, the pioneer of Instamatic cameras, the bookstore Borders which failed to make the transition to a new business or digital business model and many automobile brands such as Pontiac, Saab, Oldsmobile, and Borgward.

The boiling frog syndrome

The phenomenon of the boiling frog syndrome is that the water in the pot is gradually heated so that the frog hardly notices the gradual rise in temperature until it’s too late. Does that not tell us something about the climate debate? Scientists have warned since the late 1980s that we would be seeing extreme weather patterns as the result of the warming of the earth’s atmosphere because of the excessive burning of fossil fuels by the middle of this century. They were off the mark by at least two decades. Nobody could have predicted the ferocity of summer temperatures and storms that we are seeing in many countries at this moment in time.

Photo by Anthony DeRosa on Pexels.com

Tunnel vision

A hallmark of an entitlement culture is the tunnel vision of the ego mind. When in tunnel vision there is no evolution or progress of mind and spirit. The head-mind or “ego-mind” is caught in a belief. Its mind is made up of what is right and wrong in the world.

Head-Mind is incapable of listening to the alternative argument and will interrupt you before you have finished your sentence. They will tell you that 1+1 = 4. Nothing will persuade them otherwise. Their lives have been taken over by an alternate reality and they will be reaffirming their belief daily with similar believers in social media bubbles. Once entrenched in a tunnel-vision bubble it is virtually impossible to break down the walls the person has surrounded himself with. The person is addicted to a certain belief or thought.

When the human is in puberty you will be warning him with greater urgency of the train ahead. He will nevertheless deny that there is a train coming until it’s too late. It’s what parents all too often painfully have to go through. The child in puberty has to make its own experience, learn its own lessons and draw its own conclusions from the pain it suffers.

An alcoholic will very often only seek help during an epiphany that comes in a “flat on the ground” moment. The person is so disgusted and pained about his own behavior that he will admit finally that he has a problem. It is the first step in the healing process.

Negative and destructive behavior has the habit of sneaking into life in many subtle ways. It is one of the reasons why so many New Year resolutions fail. Typical sabotaging self-talk could be: “It won’t make much of a difference if I skip my workout this morning.” “I need to reward myself with a shopping spree after saving for two months.” “It won’t affect my relationship if I cheat on my partner just this once.”

Creating a life of bliss with positive habits

Transmuting pain and suffering leads to higher consciousness and positive change. Meaning and purpose is found after years of depression. A fulfilling, loving relationship is found after enduring years of abuse in a dysfunctional marriage. A different and more fulfilling work is sought after job burnout. An exercise routine and a healthy diet are followed with passion after overcoming a life-threatening disease.

The underlying reason for procrastination and indecision is often the fear that a change might be worse than the status quo. Starting with small “baby steps” in taking the first doable actions can make all the difference. You don’t have to wait and experience pain. You will know by now in what areas of life you need to make a change.

What can you do today? What can be done that will start the ball rolling? If you enter an untidy room filled with junk, you start by clearing one small area, then the following day the next, and so on. Getting physically fit could start with a walk of 2,000 steps and then gradually increase it day by day to 10,000 steps. Reducing a stressed out and fearful mind can begin with a short meditation lasting three minutes until 15-20 minutes is done with ease because you feel so much better afterward. Training body, mind, and spirit to a new level of consciousness and bliss comes after a reawakening from the shadowlands.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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