Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jealousy makes us value the other person - Cassandra Jardine 
Convenient mythologising of monogamy in nature have recently been exploded. Even swans, once believed to be models of fidelity, have been found to carry on outside the nest, even though they return to their partners.

Therapists increasingly believe that infidelity should not be condemned so much as analysed and discussed. Esther Perel, a New York counsellor, has led the way with her influential book Mating in Captivity, in which she advocates a more rational – indeed French – attitude to increase the chances of a happy marriage. Extra-marital affairs, she says, are a way for individuals to explore themselves and to revitalise a stale sex life. “Jealousy makes us value the other person.”
“That sounds like an excuse,” says clinical psychologist Roy Shuttleworth, whose own theory of infidelity is that couples stray because they need to maintain a distance from one another – essential for coping with the possibility of loss. He tells the story of a bride and groom who were unfaithful on the eve of their wedding – she with the best man, he with the bridesmaid – because they were about to become so close; subconsciously, they needed distance, or so the theory goes. It goes some way to explaining why many men stray when their wives are pregnant: “They know that the baby will bring them closer as a couple.”
Janice Hiller, also a clinical psychologist, takes a different view: “Feelings of abandonment or neglect lead people to stray. If society was more tolerant, it would be easier for couples to explore how that came about.”
Maybe, but straying is hardly recommended. However deep-seated the impulse, or universal the experience of being attracted to someone other than a spouse, infidelity causes great pain. Most people still see monogamy as the ideal. “We want someone special to us,” says Kate Figes, author of Couples. “Some people cope by making rules about what is and isn’t allowed. But with any sexual experience, there is the risk that you will become attached. 'Why do I need it?’ people should ask themselves. There must be something lacking.”
Nevertheless, even Paula Hall, spokesperson for Relate, believes there is something to be said for the French view of fidelity as desirable, but not always achievable. 
Meera Ravi, a Bangalore based Psycho-therapist who in her recent book ‘Arange Your Love Marriage’ has tried to place human relationships in its correct perspective.
Thank God, Kiran Bedi has retired - Anil Dharker Monday, December 24, 2007 
She complained about the glass ceiling in the police force due to her gender, yet didn't shy away from the acclaim she got for being the first woman in the IPS. Then there was the 'crusader' image that she cultivated throughout her career. There are several others before her who did the same, people like Arun Bhatia and GR Khairnar, who also became media darlings. They all had one thing in common: the publicity they received for 'taking on' the powerful, was extensive and their resultant celebrity was heady, but their period in the sun was short-lived.
That is to be expected: common sense (and tradition) tell you that civil servants should neither be seen nor heard, and the people who have built glittering careers in any of the services, have been discreet, kept their own counsel while always keeping the big picture in mind before jumping into action. 
The dictionary defines humility as someone who is modest, who lacks pretense, someone who does not believe that he or she is superior to others. An ancillary definition includes: “Having a lowly opinion of oneself, meekness”. The word humility first struck me in the context of leadership when Jim Collins mentioned it in his seminal work Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't...
We often confuse humility with timidity. Humility is not clothing ourselves in an attitude of self-abasement or self-denigration. Humility is all about maintaining our pride about who we are, about our achievements, about our worth – but without arrogance – it is the antithesis of hubris, that excessive, arrogant pride which often leads to the derailment of some corporate heroes, as it does with the downfall of the tragic hero in Greek drama. It’s about a quiet confidence without the need for a meretricious selling of our wares. It’s about being content to let others discover the layers of our talents without having to boast about them. It’s a lack of arrogance, not a lack of aggressiveness in the pursuit of achievement…
Humility is also a meta-virtue. It crosses into an array of principles. For example, we can safely declare that there cannot be authenticity without humility. Why? Because, there is always a time in a leader’s journey, when one will be in a situation of not having all the answers. Admitting this and seeking others’ input requires some humility…
Something interesting happens, too, when we approach situations from a perspective of humility: it opens us up to possibilities, as we choose open-mindedness and curiosity over protecting our point of view. We spend more time in that wonderful space of the beginner’s mind, willing to learn from what others have to offer. We move away from pushing into allowing, from insecure to secure, from seeking approval to seeking enlightenment. We forget about being perfect and we enjoy being in the moment. 
Bruna Martinuzzi is the Founder and  President of Clarion Enterprises Ltd. 
Bruna is an expert on leadership, emotional intelligence, Myers-Briggs and presentation skills training. Based in
British Columbia, she teaches, consults and coaches and she can be contacted at

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