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Forums / Staying well / Positive Role Models - do they help ?

Topic: Positive Role Models - do they help ?

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    4 July 2013

    That old thing where a depressed or otherwise mental health sufferer is told to "look at" how someone more positive and successful lives (despite having similar health problems) by way of being a Postive Role Model.  Does it really inspire or help ?

    A quick example might help:   there's a Christian type person who has proven that adversities need not prevent a limitless life.   His name is Nick Vujicic.   He's a quadraplegic.    And he loves life so much he inspires.   All with a dash of hope, confidence, courage, etc.   Does all this "sharing" of a great attitude and the various publications handling topics like faith, personal crisis, relationships, job challenges, anger, finding balance and,of course, the one we had to have - the power of the dream - really embrace others, like us, that suffer discomfort, diagnosis and depressive "choices" ?

    'Cos sometimes, such positivity, is a bit much.    We recoil from the light.

    Hoping for some discussion - maybe past the no. 1's and no. 2's, so to speak.

    Adios, David.

    PS  Dear Damien,   Maybe it was the loaves and fishes story that started response quota analysis ?  Just saying.  Even the 10 Commandments seems a tad pre-empting of the metric system some 2,000 years later.    Just keeping on the faith / religious theme as I bid you all adieu.

  2. S.A.D.
    S.A.D. avatar
    265 posts
    5 July 2013 in reply to The Real David Charles

    Does it help? Help to be, do or have what exactly? The only part of this post I can see regarding the intended outcome of this help is to be embraced:

    "Does all this "sharing" ... really embrace others, like us ..."

    I would say no. It doesn't, and isn't intended to, embrace us. 

    It's intended to inspire and help, but not by way of a comforting embrace IMHO. I think it's the opposite. Think of when you're trying to motivate your child to take their first steps, and you kneel down a few steps away with open arms and encourage their approach. At first they will crawl to you, seeking comfort, and when they arrive (I would hope that) they receive the comforting embrace they seek. If this model is repeated, the child may repeat the action that resulted in the reward of more comfort, so the task is made a little more difficult, motivating them to balance on unsteady legs. I hope you reward this too, because it will usually result in faster learning.

    People seek to be comforted and embraced, and this motivation is the source of inspiration for changes in behaviour. I would imagine many of us are here to give and receive comfort. I am. However, my being on here is not on it's own in any way comforting. The comfort is the result of certain behaviour, just like my reward for showing off to my parents at that age that I can walk. Likewise, the presentation of a role model is inspiring because the possibility of receiving comfort from them motivates a change in behaviour.

    All of this inspiration and motivation and behavioural change is contingent on the person requiring help having a high enough degree of respect, awe, and an "I wanna be like ..." attitude towards them. Without this, they are not a role model for that specific person. Such a respect can be built or grown, but that takes time, especially if the person has serious trust issues.

    As for the recoil effect, I once again refer to the quote by Marianne Williamson:

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

    We recoil from an awareness of our limitless potential

  3. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    5 July 2013 in reply to The Real David Charles

    Songs to match the Postive Role Model idea:


    On the Sunny Side of The Street

    The Mickey Mouse March

    It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing

    Bob The Builder

    Somewhere Over The Rainbow

    Don't Worry, Be Happy

    You Go To My Head

    The Locomotion

    Old MacDonald Had A Farm

    Let's Zumba !


    Kindly add your 10 choice positive song list below.

    Adios, David.

    PS  Forgot to add,  When The Moderators Go Home And The Computers Are Not A' Humming - old Country & Western song with stringed empty musli box and Cat Whiskers Harp, upturned Milo/Coffee containers and a dash of "yeah, baby".

  4. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    5 July 2013 in reply to S.A.D.

    Dear Facetious,

    I know the Marianne Williamson quote.  It's pretty good.  Always felt it has the potential to be negative, i.e. when she says "As we let our own light shine, we unconsiously give other people permission to do the same".    It's allowing the opposite thought to exist:  "As we endure lives of darkness, despair and depression, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same".

    The world is full of opposites.  We may have to agree to disagree on this point (and possibly a bunch of other posts !).    A role model (positive or negative) is a very simple concept and yet you no less than 7 paragraphs to accept that !  (I have partial Aspergers so I tend to count things).  I'm off the Boards for a while so make hay while the sun shines.

    Adios, David.

    PS  If you don't mind me asking, how old are you ?   It was my understanding that you were a uni student, or at least over 18 yrs.

  5. S.A.D.
    S.A.D. avatar
    265 posts
    5 July 2013 in reply to The Real David Charles

    I tend to agree with this:

     "As we endure lives of darkness, despair and depression, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same"

    Most people are aware of the contagious nature of fear and anxiety. I think this principle is transferable to states of sadness, rage, and hate. The news and current affairs industry relies on this fine point to broadcast stories of shock and awe, many of which are designed to spread a feeling of outrage over some injustice or whatever.

    However, the appearance of opposites is an illusion, also known as a false dichotomy. Just because there are people like me with depression, unintentionally spreading more depression around the world, doesn't mean it will spread because of me. People are naturally resilient to unhealthy psychological states. Also, my level of depression is less depressed than other depressed people some of the time, so in those circumstances I might appear to be a shining light to them, and help them over their sadness.

    I am a university student, and I am over 18, and I am over 23. My friend, who is also a university student at the age of 79, says that my age is not as important as the message I convey, also called a meme. A good meme is a legacy of an idea, and is potentially immortal. Marianne Williamson has left her meme on the world through "A Return To Love: Reflections on A Course In Miracles." 

    I like paragraphs. The expression of articulate detail is a virtue, and not an indicator of aspergers. I hope this response has sufficiently answered you question.

  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    16497 posts
    6 July 2013 in reply to The Real David Charles
    dear David Charles, mf, The Power of Love, maybe not a positive role model, but a stimulation. Geoff.

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