No Man is an Island

  16 Sep 2016

Joseph Heller coined the term in his 1961 novel Catch 22 about World War II… The term is introduced by the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch 22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane. Simply put – A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which one cannot escape because of contradictory rules. For example, to get a job you need a few years of experiences. But in order to gain experience, you need to get a job first. [restrict]

My catch 22 was and still sneaks in at times, a battle that begins and ends in my mind, otherwise it’ll destroy my life and the work I do. Selfish pride. I believe we must take pride in our work, but not be arrogant about it. Why? Because there are so many in Palau who can do it better than yours truly; so many have helped me accomplish everything I have done. I write from learning how others do it, I use this laptop that someone designed, those in the assembly line that built it, and the software someone created, and English teachers… and on and on. The list is long. Fear of being prideful doesn’t mean we quit doing what we like to do. It means we pursue excellence for ourselves and not be so In-Your-Face about it. The truth of the matter is, nobody really cares, except oneself.

My choice of work is to empower others. I had to study a how-to, earn some experience with experts with 20 years plus experiences outside of the lecture halls.  A pastor/psychologist told me –When you become a counselor and someone else comes along, younger or older, smarter and wiser than you are, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from them. She told me to be careful because pride can sneak in and destroy the ministry. And there have been times when I knew it has crept into my heart. It’s a hard battle to fight because it can show up as self-confidence. A Catch 22. Several signs of pride that can creep into our heart and hurt our works are: When we aren’t learning from others. It is when we always take credit instead of giving the credit to the team, and when we don’t empower others to do the work because you want to do it all ourselves.

We are all born selfish, ego-centric infants, thinking the world revolves around us. A newborn infant is so selfish without ego boundaries; she thinks she herself is singing when it is the caregiver singing lulling her to sleep. Healthy attachment (love and mirroring) from caregiver develops good ego strength to be individual self. Without healthy attachments, the rest of the society may be experiencing overwhelming emotions and showing them as well, but the egocentric doesn’t feel. They can be cruel to you, but they will remain stable and unaffected because they were never attached and they have nothing to fear. You never meant anything to them. [/restrict]