Balanced People Do Not Change the World: Viet Nam, the Kübler-Ros​s Model & the Oslo Syndrome — Written 4/11/2012

Being introduced to Viet Nam since 1949, and coddling/nursing a Colonial French-Indochina/Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia/Africa/Middle East version of the Oslo syndrome for all these years, it seems, now, finally, seeing the end of all this comedy by renouncing any improvement hope, I believe there is something to say about the validity of the Kubler-Moss model and the Oslo syndrome…

“These theoretical stages of coping with dying are now frequently referred to as the Kübler-Ross model, The Five Stages of Dying, The Five Stages of Grief, The Five Stages of Loss, The Five Stages of Coping with Dying, The Five Stages of Coping with Grief or The Five Stages of Coping with Loss.   The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, include:

  • Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death. Denial can be conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. Denial is a defense mechanism and some people can become locked in this stage.
  • Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?” Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.
  • Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…” People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example “Can we still be friends?..” when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it’s a matter of life or death.
  • Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. . Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the ‘aftermath’. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person as begun to accept the situation.
  • Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. This stage varies according to the person’s situation. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.

Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness. She later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss (job, income, freedom). Such losses may also include significant life events such as the death of a loved one, major rejection, end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, change in office environment, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, as well many tragedies and disasters. As stated before, the Kubler-Ross Model can be used for multiple situations where people are experiencing a significant loss…….”

“A dying individual’s approach to death has been linked to the amount of meaning and purpose a person has found throughout his lifetime. (I am still looking for it in Viet Nam, and still does NOT find it, after all this time) A study of 160 people with less than three months to live showed that those who felt they understood their purpose in life or found special meaning, faced less fear and despair in the final weeks of their lives than those who had not. In this and similar studies, spirituality helped dying individuals deal with the depression stage more aggressively than those who were not spiritual.”

“The Oslo Syndrome examines the Oslo debacle in which Israel sought to win peace through territorial and other concessions even as Palestinian leaders assured their people their objective was still Israel’s destruction. Psychiatrist and historian Kenneth Levin relates Oslo to the long history of Jews under siege, subjected to defamation, discrimination and other abuses, seeking to end the assaults through self-blame and accommodation to their oppressors.”

“In a great David Sedaris essay, he uses a stove metaphor to talk about work-life balance: “One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work. The gist, Pat said, was that in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.” Thoughts on the possibilities of following your passion AND having a well-rounded life? That’s a fascinating model. I’m not sure if it’s cutting off one burner, two burners, or just making deliberate choices, but overall I agree. My observation, which tends to elicit a range of responses, is that balanced people don’t usually change the world. If you want to be balanced, go and work at the bank and live for happy hour. Or maybe you make something other than your work a priority, and that’s totally fine too.”

” Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only wise but that it was readily apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny).”

This is true for all of Western Civilization, but, also, in reverse, to Caucasians, Chinese (in all their forms), Huns, Islam (Arabs, Moors, etc, in all their forms), and Mongols………

Why does only the Western Civilization developed a guilt trip about it?

Maybe “democracy” idealism should be re-visited since, apparently, historically, “democracy” has never been co-opted but took “roots” as “enforced”, i.e., Viet Nam 1986 food crisis and “Doi Moi”1 looking into “Doi Moi” 2 as “Doi Moi” 1 did NOT work as much as planned………

“The Communist Party of Vietnam has reaffirmed its commitment to the socialist economic orientation and that Doi Moi renovations of the economy are intended to strengthen socialism.The economic reforms that introduced market forces in Vietnam are likened to modern Chinese economic reform.”   Crabs, also, move sideways to avoid changing their way……..;+)   They make me remember a Citizen Cope song lyrics:   “Sideways”

You know it ain’t easy For these thoughts here to leave me There’s no words to describe it In French or in English Well, diamonds they fade And flowers they bloom And I’m telling you These feelings won’t go away They’ve been knockin’ me sideways They’ve been knockin’ me out lately Whenever you come around me These feelings won’t go away They’ve been knockin’ me sideways I keep thinking in a moment that Time will take them away But these feelings won’t go away

“Sideways” Featured in the film “The Fountain” with Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz Featured in the episode “My Jiggly Ball” of the television series Scrubs Featured in 2006’s Trust the Man Featured in 2008’s Ghost Town In the television series, One Tree Hill Featured in 2009’s “So You Think You Can Dance”


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