Today, stress remains the main aspect behind scores of health-related problems. Mental and physical tension or strain that characterizes stress has been on the upsurge. It has occasioned the need for stress management, where an avalanche of psychotherapies and techniques is employed to control people’s stress levels to bolster daily functioning, especially for people with chronic stress. According to Erich Fromm (1947), the main objective of therapy is to assist an individual to adjust the existing situations to some kind of ‘reality’ of mental health (Pettinger, 2002). While stress management largely remains an endeavor of an individual, a myriad of approaches and practices assists people to function and relax effectively in the community. However, seeking a deeper relaxation and balance requires addressing an individual’s environmental and social context.
Questions and Answers
With reference to Sapolsky 16, how do stress and addiction influence each other? And with reference to Zeitgeist, how does the psychosocial environment play into addiction?
Part I of Zeitgeist explores the nurture versus nature debate of human behavior. Robert Sapolsky postulates that the nurture and nature dichotomy is ‘false’. Neither nurture nor nature alone shape human behavior. It is the combination of the two that shapes human behavior. Cultural conditioning and social environment shape human behavior. Addictions, criminal activity, and disease result from the environment people are bred in as they grow (McDurmon, 2008). The Zeitgeist is an intellectual fashion’s influence and typifies culture in a particular period. Illusion errors are never readily apparent since assumptions and shared beliefs of a certain period, which support them, do not question the cross-cultural soundness.
Sapolsky (p. 367) cites research showing that “the diseases that people were dying of most frequently a century ago are dramatically different from the most common ones now. Different causes of death, but same SES gradient, same relationship between SES and health.” What is the “socioeconomic status gradient” he is referring to, and what might its persistence imply about the nature of disease?
According to Carl Jung (1963), a shared problem remains an individual problem, when it is not accepted as such. Inequality remains the common denominator in a glut of social and health problems. Across a broad spectrum of social and personal indicators, individuals worsen with the degree and hierarchy of a society’s inequality. An organization’s hierarchical form coupled with the ever-increasing endemia and stresses is just one of the two shapes we can make. Social hierarchies take the form of pyramids, where people at the bottom hold up the pyramid. The middle class have tanks and guns to protect the ones at the top while exploiting the ones at the bottom. Similarly, under stress, pyramids are formed when stress increases, then health worsens with it culminating to shortening of one’s lifespan (Goleman, 2006). Circles of life have to disintegrate and be exploited in order to energize the growth of the pyramid. A succinct examination of synergy between chronic stress, hierarchy, and agriculture can help explore the dynamics, which drives circles into pyramids.
Zeitgeist describes the market-machine system as the heart of myriad health, social, and environmental problems. What do you think? What is the market-machine system, and how might it encourage stress?
Zeitgeist describes the market-machine system as the heart of innumerable environmental, social, and health problems. In Part II of Zeitgeist, Adam Smith (1937) and John Locke (1988) are discussed succinctly with their contribution to the modern-day economics. Locke (1988) enunciates the private ownership principles of capital, labor, and land. The economy is resource-based. Smith employs the invisible hand theory to demonstrate how the interests of individuals benefit the society in its entirety (McDurmon, 2008). The economic theory, on which the market-machine system is anchored, places premium upon money and private property. However, huge disparities exist between the agents within this market-machine system. Cyclical consumption is required in the maintenance of market share, consequently resulting to the planned obsolescence and wastage of resources. The monetary system as it is currently will culminate to hyperinflation or default in the future.
What is the “money sequence of value,” and how does it encourage Pyramids? What is the “life sequence of value,” and how does it encourage Circles?
The “money sequence of value” aims at maximizing money returns. Through profitable investment reproduction structure, money inputs yield optimal money returns. Money is viewed as the sole medium of exchange. Money is used for monetary gain as opposed to life gain. This sequence ends with money after beginning with money (Simmel, 2011). Put differently, money is both a means and an end. It encourages the Pyramids by yielding life-destructive externalities. This sequence leads to dismantling of civil life and environmental fabrics. Conversely, life sequence of value involves a situation, where money is used for some life gain not any money gain. Under this sequence, money is the means to some different end. This sequence encourages Circles by averting a cumulative collapse of planetary and social existence conditions. It can however lead to destruction of ecosystems and species in pursuance of life.
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See the movie Home. How does increasing time stress mirror environmental destruction during the spread of civilization? How, in other words, does ecocide support our ability to go “faster and faster”? Support your answer with two examples.
The movie Home depicts life diversity as well as how humanity threatens ecological balance on the Earth. Increase of time stress reflects environmental destruction resulting from the advent of civilization. Indeed, ecocide culminates in complete destruction of our ecosystem due to human activities. Resource exploration, dumping of injurious chemicals or nuclear welfare supports people’s ability to go ‘faster and faster’, where injurious chemicals reduce our lifespan through diseases. Again, nuclear welfare leads to massive loss of lives.
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