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Annea

SCARICA RICASCA MY OWN LIFE

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    Animosity In the daily metta practice with which I start my meditation, I reiterate the wish to be free from animosity. They include, most recently, the politicians who have in my own view seemed bent on destroying this country. The dharma teaches me, wisely and I think correctly, that the animosity that arises serves only to introduce toxin into my own veins.

    It certainly does nothing to change those against whom it is directed. These thoughts were stirred in. In the daily metta practice with which I start my meditation, I reiterate the wish to be free from animosity. I was writing about gratitude, concluding with a note about the surprise and plucky appearance of Rep.

    Fifty years later, in the s, industrial workers had become the largest single group in every developed country, and unionized industrial workers in mass-production industry which was then dominant everywhere had attained upper-middle-class income levels. And in Japan they had come close, in the Toyota and Nissan strikes of the late forties and early fifties, to overturning the system and taking power themselves. Thirty-five years later, in , industrial workers and their unions were in retreat.

    They had become marginal in numbers. Whereas industrial workers who make or move things had accounted for two fifths of the American work force in the s, they accounted for less than one fifth in the early s—that is, for no more than they had accounted for in , when their meteoric rise began. In the other developed free-market countries the decline was slower at first, but after it began to accelerate everywhere.

    By the year or , in every developed free market country, industrial workers will account for no more than an eighth of the work force. Union power has been declining just as fast. Unlike domestic servants, industrial workers will not disappear—any more than agricultural producers have disappeared or will disappear. But just as the traditional small farmer has become a recipient of subsidies rather than a producer, so will the traditional industrial worker become an auxiliary employee.

    Examples are computer technicians, x-ray technicians, physical therapists, medical-lab technicians, pulmonary technicians, and so on, who together have made up the fastest-growing group in the U. The enormous violence of this century—the world wars, ethnic cleansings, and so on—was all violence from above rather than violence from below; and it was unconnected with the transformations of society, whether the dwindling of farmers, the disappearance of domestic servants, or the rise of the industrial worker.

    Contrary to Marxist and syndicalist predictions, the rise of the industrial worker did not destabilize society.

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    It explains why the disappearance of the farmer and the domestic servant produced no social crises. Both the flight from the land and the flight from domestic service were voluntary.

    Industrial jobs required no skills they did not already possess, and no additional knowledge. In fact, farmers on the whole had a good deal more skill than was required to be a machine operator in a mass-production plant—and so did many domestic servants. To be sure, industrial work paid poorly until the First World War. But it paid better than farming or household work. Industrial workers in the United States until —and in some countries, including Japan, until the Second World War—worked long hours.

    But they worked shorter hours than farmers and domestic servants. The history books record the squalor of early industry, the poverty of the industrial workers, and their exploitation. Workers did indeed live in squalor and poverty, and they were exploited. But they lived better than those on a farm or in a household, and were generally treated better. Proof of this is that infant mortality dropped immediately when farmers and domestic servants moved into industrial work.

    Historically, cities had never reproduced themselves. They had depended for their perpetuation on constant new recruits from the countryside. This was still true in the mid-nineteenth century. But with the spread of factory employment the city became the center of population growth. In part this was a result of new public-health measures: purification of water, collection and treatment of wastes, quarantine against epidemics, inoculation against disease.

    These measures—and they were effective mostly in the city—counteracted, or at least contained, the hazards of crowding that had made the traditional city a breeding ground for pestilence. But the largest single factor in the exponential drop in infant mortality as industrialization spread was surely the improvement in living conditions brought about by the factory.

    Housing and nutrition became better, and hard work and accidents came to take less of a toll. The drop in infant mortality—and with it the explosive growth in population—correlates with only one development: industrialization.

    For farmers and domestic servants, industrial work was an opportunity. It was, in fact, the first opportunity that social history had given them to better themselves substantially without having to emigrate. In the developed free-market countries over the past or years every generation has been able to expect to do substantially better than the generation preceding it. The main reason has been that farmers and domestic servants could and did become industrial workers.

    Because industrial workers are concentrated in groups, systematic work on their productivity was possible. On this rest all the economic and social gains of the past century.

    Morgan, Bismarck, and Disraeli—practically all these gains have accrued to the industrial worker, half of them in the form of sharply reduced working hours with the cuts ranging from 40 percent in Japan to 50 percent in Germany , and half of them in the form of a twenty-five fold increase in the real wages of industrial workers who make or move things.

    There were thus very good reasons why the rise of the industrial worker was peaceful rather than violent, let alone revolutionary. But what explains the fact that the fall of the industrial worker has been equally peaceful and almost entirely free of social protest, of upheaval, of serious dislocation, at least in the United States?

    The rise of the class succeeding industrial workers is not an opportunity for industrial workers. It is a challenge. I coined it in a book, Landmarks of Tomorrow. By the end of this century knowledge workers will make up a third or more of the work force in the United States—as large a proportion as manufacturing workers ever made up, except in wartime.

    The majority of them will be paid at least as well as, or better than, manufacturing workers ever were. And the new jobs offer much greater opportunities. But—and this is a big but—the great majority of the new jobs require qualifications the industrial worker does not possess and is poorly equipped to acquire. They require a good deal of formal education and the ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytical knowledge. They require a different approach to work and a different mind-set.

    Above all, they require a habit of continuous learning. Displaced industrial workers thus cannot simply move into knowledge work or services the way displaced farmers and domestic workers moved into industrial work.

    At the very least they have to change their basic attitudes, values, and beliefs. In the closing decades of this century the industrial work force has shrunk faster and further in the United States than in any other developed country—while industrial production has grown faster than in any other developed country except Japan.

    In the fifty years since the Second World War the economic position of African-Americans in America has improved faster than that of any other group in American social history—or in the social history of any country.

    But half that group rose into middle-class incomes and not into middle class jobs. Since the Second World War more and more blacks have moved into blue-collar unionized mass-production industry—that is, into jobs paying middle-class and upper-middle-class wages while requiring neither education nor skill. These are precisely the jobs, however, that are disappearing the fastest. What is amazing is not that so many blacks did not acquire an education but that so many did. The economically rational thing for a young black in postwar America was not to stay in school and learn; it was to leave school as early as possible and get one of the plentiful mass-production jobs.

    It has blunted what was the most potent role model in the black community in America: the well-paid industrial worker with job security, health insurance, and a guaranteed retirement pension—yet possessing neither skill nor much education. But, of course, blacks are a minority of the population and work force in the United States. For the overwhelming majority—whites, but also Latinos and Asians—the fall of the industrial worker has caused amazingly little disruption and nothing that could be called an upheaval.

    Even in communities that were once totally dependent on mass-production plants that have gone out of business or have drastically slashed employment steel cities in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, for instance, or automobile cities like Detroit and Flint, Michigan , unemployment rates for nonblack adults fell within a few short years to levels barely higher than the U.

    The only explanation is that for the nonblack blue-collar community the development came as no surprise, however unwelcome, painful, and threatening it may have been to individual workers and their families. In the United States the shift had by or so largely been accomplished. But so far it has occurred only in the United States. In the other developed free-market countries, in western and northern Europe and in Japan, it is just beginning in the s.

    It is, however, certain to proceed rapidly in these countries from now on, perhaps faster than it originally did in the United States. The fall of the industrial worker in the developed free-market countries will also have a major impact outside the developed world.

    Developing countries can no longer expect to base their development on their comparative labor advantage—that is, on cheap industrial labor. But this is not true. There was something to the belief thirty years ago. But this technique has not worked at all since or In the s only an insignificant percentage of manufactured goods imported into the United States are produced abroad because of low labor costs.

    While total imports in accounted for about 12 percent of the U.

    Practically none of the decline in American manufacturing employment from some 30 or 35 percent of the work force to 15 or 18 percent can therefore be attributed to moving work to low-wage countries. The main competition for American manufacturing industry—for instance, in automobiles, in steel, and in machine tools—has come from countries such as Japan and Germany, where wage costs have long been equal to, if not higher than, those in the United States.

    This means, however, that developing countries can no longer expect to base their development on low wages. But for the developed countries, too, the shift to knowledge-based work poses enormous social challenges.

    Despite the factory, industrial society was still essentially a traditional society in its basic social relationships of production. But the emerging society, the one based on knowledge and knowledge workers, is not.

    It is the first society in which ordinary people—and that means most people—do not earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. It is also the first society in which not everybody does the same work, as was the case when the huge majority were farmers or, as seemed likely only forty or thirty years ago, were going to be machine operators.

    This is far more than a social change. It is a change in the human condition. What it means—what are the values, the commitments, the problems, of the new society—we do not know. Knowledge workers will not be the majority in the knowledge society, but in many if not most developed societies they will be the largest single population and work-force group.

    And even where outnumbered by other groups, knowledge workers will give the emerging knowledge society its character, its leadership, its social profile. They may not be the ruling class of the knowledge society, but they are already its leading class. And in their characteristics, social position, values, and expectations, they differ fundamentally from any group in history that has ever occupied the leading position.

    In the first place, knowledge workers gain access to jobs and social position through formal education. An extreme example is neurosurgery. An absence of manual skill disqualifies one for work as a neurosurgeon.

    But manual skill alone, no matter how advanced, will never enable anyone to be a neurosurgeon. The education that is required for neurosurgery and other kinds of knowledge work can be acquired only through formal schooling. It cannot be acquired through apprenticeship. Knowledge work varies tremendously in the amount and kind of formal knowledge required.

    Some jobs have fairly low requirements, and others require the kind of knowledge the neurosurgeon possesses. But even if the knowledge itself is quite primitive, only formal education can provide it. Education will become the center of the knowledge society, and the school its key institution. What knowledge must everybody have? These will of necessity become central concerns of the knowledge society, and central political issues. In fact, the acquisition and distribution of formal knowledge may come to occupy the place in the politics of the knowledge society which the acquisition and distribution of property and income have occupied in our politics over the two or three centuries that we have come to call the Age of Capitalism.

    In the knowledge society, clearly, more and more knowledge, and especially advanced knowledge, will be acquired well past the age of formal schooling and increasingly, perhaps, through educational processes that do not center on the traditional school. We can also predict with confidence that we will redefine what it means to be an educated person. Traditionally, and especially during the past years perhaps since or so, at least in the West, and since about that time in Japan as well , an educated person was somebody who had a prescribed stock of formal knowledge.

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    The Germans called this knowledge allgemeine Bildung, and the English and, following them, the nineteenth century Americans called it the liberal arts.

    Increasingly, an educated person will be somebody who has learned how to learn, and who continues learning, especially by formal education, throughout his or her lifetime. There are obvious dangers to this. For instance, society could easily degenerate into emphasizing formal degrees rather than performance capacity. It could fall prey to sterile Confucian mandarins—a danger to which the American university is singularly susceptible.

    A society in which knowledge workers dominate is under threat from a new class conflict: between the large minority of knowledge workers and the majority of people, who will make their living traditionally, either by manual work, whether skilled or unskilled, or by work in services, whether skilled or unskilled.

    The productivity of knowledge work—still abysmally low—will become the economic challenge of the knowledge society. On it will depend the competitive position of every single country, every single industry, every single institution within society. The productivity of the nonknowledge, services worker will become the social challenge of the knowledge society. On it will depend the ability of the knowledge society to give decent incomes, and with them dignity and status, to non-knowledge workers.

    No society in history has faced these challenges. But equally new are the opportunities of the knowledge society. In the knowledge society, for the first time in history, the possibility of leadership will be open to all. Also, the possibility of acquiring knowledge will no longer depend on obtaining a prescribed education at a given age.

    Learning will become the tool of the individual—available to him or her at any age—if only because so much skill and knowledge can be acquired by means of the new learning technologies. Another implication is that how well an individual, an organization, an industry, a country, does in acquiring and applying knowledge will become the key competitive factor.

    The knowledge society will inevitably become far more competitive than any society we have yet known—for the simple reason that with knowledge being universally accessible, there will be no excuses for nonperformance.

    There will only be ignorant countries. And the same will be true for companies, industries, and organizations of all kinds. It will be true for individuals, too. In fact, developed societies have already become infinitely more competitive for individuals than were the societies of the beginning of this century, let alone earlier ones.

    I have been speaking of knowledge. In the knowledge society knowledge for the most part exists only in application. Nothing the x-ray technician needs to know can be applied to market research, for instance, or to teaching medieval history. The central work force in the knowledge society will therefore consist of highly specialized people.

    This, too, is new. Historically, workers were generalists. This was also true of industrial workers. But knowledge workers, whether their knowledge is primitive or advanced, whether there is a little of it or a great deal, will by definition be specialized.

    Applied knowledge is effective only when it is specialized. Indeed, the more highly specialized, the more effective it is. This goes for technicians who service computers, x-ray machines, or the engines of fighter planes. But it applies equally to work that requires the most advanced knowledge, whether research in genetics or research in astrophysics or putting on the first performance of a new opera. Again, the shift from knowledge to knowledges offers tremendous opportunities to the individual.

    It makes possible a career as a knowledge worker. But it also presents a great many new problems and challenges. It demands for the first time in history that people with knowledge take responsibility for making themselves understood by people who do not have the same knowledge base. That knowledge in the knowledge society has to be highly specialized to be productive implies two new requirements: that knowledge workers work in teams, and that if knowledge workers are not employees, they must at least be affiliated with an organization.

    Actually people have always worked in teams; very few people ever could work effectively by themselves. The farmer had to have a wife, and the farm wife had to have a husband. The two worked as a team. And both worked as a team with their employees, the hired hands. The craftsman also had to have a wife, with whom he worked as a team—he took care of the craft work, and she took care of the customers, the apprentices, and the business altogether. And both worked as a team with journeymen and apprentices.

    Much discussion today assumes that there is only one kind of team. Actually there are quite a few. But until now the emphasis has been on the individual worker and not on the team. With knowledge work growing increasingly effective as it is increasingly specialized, teams become the work unit rather than the individual himself.

    It is actually the most difficult kind of team both to assemble and to make work effectively, and the kind that requires the longest time to gain performance capacity. We will have to learn to use different kinds of teams for different purposes. We will have to learn to understand teams—and this is something to which, so far, very little attention has been paid. The understanding of teams, the performance capacities of different kinds of teams, their strengths and limitations, and the trade-offs between various kinds of teams will thus become central concerns in the management of people.

    Equally important is the second implication of the fact that knowledge workers are of necessity specialists: the need for them to work as members of an organization. Only the organization can provide the basic continuity that knowledge workers need in order to be effective. Only the organization can convert the specialized knowledge of the knowledge worker into performance.

    By itself, specialized knowledge does not yield performance. As a loner in his or her research and writing, the historian can be very effective. But to educate students, a great many other specialists have to contribute—people whose specialty may be literature, or mathematics, or other areas of history.

    And this requires that the specialist have access to an organization. This access may be as a consultant, or it may be as a provider of specialized services. But for the majority of knowledge workers it will be as employees, full-time or part-time, of an organization, such as a government agency, a hospital, a university, a business, or a labor union.

    In the knowledge society it is not the individual who performs. The individual is a cost center rather than a performance center. It is the organization that performs. Individually, knowledge workers are dependent on the job. They receive a wage or salary. They have been hired and can be fired. Legally each is an employee. But collectively they are the capitalists; increasingly, through their pension funds and other savings, the employees own the means of production. And most social theory of industrial society is based, one way or another, on the relationship between the two, whether in conflict or in necessary and beneficial cooperation and balance.

    In the knowledge society the two merge. But it is also increasingly the main source of capital for the knowledge society. Perhaps more important, in the knowledge society the employees—that is, knowledge workers—own the tools of production.

    The capitalist had to own the steam engine and to control it. Increasingly, the true investment in the knowledge society is not in machines and tools but in the knowledge of the knowledge worker.

    Without that knowledge the machines, no matter how advanced and sophisticated, are unproductive. The market researcher needs a computer.

    The surgeon needs the operating room of the hospital and all its expensive capital equipment. This is true whether the knowledge worker commands advanced knowledge, like a surgeon, or simple and fairly elementary knowledge, like a junior accountant.

    In either case it is the knowledge investment that determines whether the employee is productive or not, more than the tools, machines, and capital furnished by an organization. In the knowledge society the most probable assumption for organizations—and certainly the assumption on which they have to conduct their affairs—is that they need knowledge workers far more than knowledge workers need them.

    There is no higher or lower knowledge. And if an executive is posted to a foreign country, the knowledge he or she needs, and in a hurry, is fluency in a foreign language—something every native of that country has mastered by age three, without any great investment.

    The knowledge of the knowledge society, precisely because it is knowledge only when applied in action, derives its rank and standing from the situation. Knowledges were always seen as fixed stars, so to speak, each occupying its own position in the universe of knowledge. In the knowledge society knowledges are tools, and as such are dependent for their importance and position on the task to be performed.

    One additional conclusion: Because the knowledge society perforce has to be a society of organizations, its central and distinctive organ is management. But we have learned in this past half century that management is the distinctive organ of all organizations. All of them require management, whether they use the term or not.

    All managers do the same things, whatever the purpose of their organization. All of them have to bring people—each possessing different knowledge- together for joint performance. All of them have to make human strengths productive in performance and human weaknesses irrelevant.

    All of them have to think through what results are wanted in the organization—and have then to define objectives. All of them are responsible for thinking through what I call the theory of the business—that is, the assumptions on which the organization bases its performance and actions, and the assumptions that the organization has made in deciding what not to do. All of them must think through strategies—that is, the means through which the goals of the organization become performance.

    All of them have to define the values of the organization, its system of rewards and punishments, its spirit and its culture. In all organizations managers need both the knowledge of management as work and discipline and the knowledge and understanding of the organization itself—its purposes, its values, its environment and markets, its core competencies.

    Management as a practice is very old. The most successful executive in all history was surely that Egyptian who, 4, years or more ago, first conceived the pyramid, without any precedent, designed it, and built it, and did so in an astonishingly short time. That first pyramid still stands. But as a discipline management is barely fifty years old. It was first dimly perceived around the time of the First World War. Since then it has been the fastest-growing new function, and the study of it the fastest-growing new discipline.

    No function in history has emerged as quickly as has management in the past fifty or sixty years, and surely none has had such worldwide sweep in such a short period. Management is still taught in most business schools as a bundle of techniques, such as budgeting and personnel relations. To be sure, management, like any other work, has its own tools and its own techniques.

    But just as the essence of medicine is not urinalysis important though that is , the essence of management is not techniques and procedures. The essence of management is to make knowledges productive. Management, in other words, is a social function.

    And in its practice management is truly a liberal art. The old communities—family, village, parish, and so on—have all but disappeared in the knowledge society. Their place has largely been taken by the new unit of social integration, the organization. Where community was fate, organization is voluntary membership.

    But who, then, does the community tasks? Two hundred years ago whatever social tasks were being done were done in all societies by a local community. Very few if any of these tasks are being done by the old communities anymore. Nor would they be capable of doing them, considering that they no longer have control of their members or even a firm hold over them. People no longer stay where they were born, either in terms of geography or in terms of social position and status. By definition, a knowledge society is a society of mobility.

    And all the social functions of the old communities, whether performed well or poorly and most were performed very poorly indeed , presupposed that the individual and the family would stay put. People no longer have roots. People no longer have a neighborhood that controls what their home is like, what they do, and, indeed, what their problems are allowed to be.

    The knowledge society is a society in which many more people than ever before can be successful. But it is therefore, by definition, also a society in which many more people than ever before can fail, or at least come in second. And if only because the application of knowledge to work has made developed societies so much richer than any earlier society could even dream of becoming, the failures, whether poor people or alcoholics, battered women or juvenile delinquents, are seen as failures of society.

    Who, then, takes care of the social tasks in the knowledge society? We cannot ignore them. But the traditional community is incapable of tackling them. Two answers have emerged in the past century or so—a majority answer and a dissenting opinion.

    Both have proved to be wrong. The answer: the problems of the social sector can, should, and must be solved by government. This is still probably the answer that most people accept, especially in the developed countries of the West—even though most people probably no longer fully believe it.

    But it has been totally disproved. Modern government, especially since the Second World War, has everywhere become a huge welfare bureaucracy. And the bulk of the budget in every developed country today is devoted to Entitlements—to payments for all kinds of social services. Yet in every developed country society is becoming sicker rather than healthier, and social problems are multiplying.

    Government has a big role to play in social tasks—the role of policymaker, of standard setter, and, to a substantial extent, of paymaster. But as the agency to run social services, it has proved almost totally incompetent. I argued then that the new organization—and fifty years ago that meant the large business enterprise—would have to be the community in which the individual would find status and function, with the workplace community becoming the one in and through which social tasks would be organized.

    In Japan though quite independently and without any debt to me the large employer—government agency or business—has indeed increasingly attempted to serve as a community for its employees. Lifetime employment is only one affirmation of this. This, however, has not worked either.

    There is need, especially in the West, to bring the employee increasingly into the government of the workplace community.

    What is now called empowerment is very similar to the things I talked about fifty years ago. But it does not create a community. Nor does it create the structure through which the social tasks of the knowledge society can be tackled. In fact, practically all these tasks—whether education or health care; the anomies and diseases of a developed and, especially, a rich society, such as alcohol and drug abuse; or the problems of incompetence and irresponsibility such as those of the underclass in the American city—lie outside the employing institution.

    The right answer to the question Who takes care of the social challenges of the knowledge society? The answer is a separate and new social sector. In the United States, with its tradition of independent and competitive churches, such a sector has always existed. Even now churches are the largest single part of the social sector in the United States, receiving almost half the money given to charitable institutions, and about a third of the time volunteered by individuals.

    But the nonchurch part of the social sector has been the growth sector in the United States. In the early s about a million organizations were registered in the United States as nonprofit or charitable organizations doing social-sector work.

    The overwhelming majority of these, some 70 percent, have come into existence in the past thirty years. And most are community services concerned with life on this earth rather than with the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Quite a few of the new organizations are, of course, religious in their orientation, but for the most part these are not churches. Even within the church segment of the social sector the organizations that have shown the capacity to grow are radically new. It means nothing except that under American law these organizations do not pay taxes. Whether they are organized as nonprofit or not is actually irrelevant to their function and behavior.

    What matters is not the legal basis but that the social-sector institutions have a particular kind of purpose. Government demands compliance; it makes rules and enforces them. Business expects to be paid; it supplies. Social-sector institutions aim at changing the human being. The task of social-sector organizations is to create human health and well being.

    Increasingly these organizations of the social sector serve a second and equally important purpose. They create citizenship.

    Modern society and modern polity have become so big and complex that citizenship—that is, responsible participation—is no longer possible. All we can do as citizens is to vote once every few years and to pay taxes all the time.

    As a volunteer in a social-sector institution, the individual can again make a difference. In the United States, where there is a long volunteer tradition because of the old independence of the churches, almost every other adult in the s is working at least three—and often five—hours a week as a volunteer in a social-sector organization. Britain is the only other country with something like this tradition, although it exists there to a much lesser extent in part because the British welfare state is far more embracing, but in much larger part because it has an established church—paid for by the state and run as a civil service.

    Outside the English-speaking countries there is not much of a volunteer tradition. In fact, the modern state in Europe and Japan has been openly hostile to anything that smacks of volunteerism—most so in France and Japan. It is ancien regime and suspected of being fundamentally subversive. But even in these countries things are changing, because the knowledge society needs the social sector, and the social sector needs the volunteer.

    But knowledge workers also need a sphere in which they can act as citizens and create a community. The workplace does not give it to them. In American education over the next twenty years there will be more and more government-paid vouchers that will enable parents to put their children into a variety of different schools, some public and tax supported, some private and largely dependent on the income from the vouchers. These social-sector organizations, although partners with government, also clearly compete with government.

    The relationship between the two has yet to be worked out—and there is practically no precedent for it. What constitutes performance for social-sector organizations, and especially for those that, being nonprofit and charitable, do not have the discipline of a financial bottom line, has also yet to be worked out. We know that social-sector organizations need management. But what precisely management means for the social-sector organization is just beginning to be studied.

    With respect to the management of the nonprofit organization we are in many ways pretty much where we were fifty or sixty years ago with respect to the management of the business enterprise: the work is only beginning.

    But one thing is already clear. The knowledge society has to be a society of three sectors: a public sector of government, a private sector of business, and a social sector. And I submit that it is becoming increasingly clear that through the social sector a modern developed society can again create responsible and achieving citizenship, and can again give individuals—especially knowledge workers—a sphere in which they can make a difference in society and re-create community.

    And this knowledge can be acquired only through schooling. It is not tied to any country. It is portable. It can be created everywhere, fast and cheaply. Finally, it is by definition changing. Knowledge as the key resource is fundamentally different from the traditional key resources of the economist—land, labor, and even capital. That knowledge has become the key resource means that there is a world economy, and that the world economy, rather than the national economy, is in control.

    Every country, every industry, and every business will be in an increasingly competitive environment. Every country, every industry, and every business will, in its decisions, have to consider its competitive standing in the world economy and the competitiveness of its knowledge competencies. Politics and policies still center on domestic issues in every country.

    Few if any politicians, journalists, or civil servants look beyond the boundaries of their own country when a new measure such as taxes, the regulation of business, or social spending is being discussed.

    This will no longer do. Every country and every industry will have to learn that the first question is not Is this measure desirable? We need to develop in politics something similar to the environmental-impact statement, which in the United States is now required for any government action affecting the quality of the environment: we need a competitive-impact statement.

    But to make a decision without considering it has become irresponsible. Altogether, the fact that knowledge has become the key resource means that the standing of a country in the world economy will increasingly determine its domestic prosperity. The primacy of foreign affairs is an old political precept going back in European politics to the seventeenth century. Since the Second World War it has also been accepted in American politics—though only grudgingly so, and only in emergencies.

    It has always meant that military security was to be given priority over domestic policies, and in all likelihood this is what it will continue to mean, Cold War or no Cold War. But the primacy of foreign affairs is now acquiring a different dimension. This holds true for a country that is only marginally involved in the world economy should there still be such a one , and for a business that is only marginally involved in the world economy, and for a university that sees itself as totally domestic.

    Knowledge knows no boundaries. There is no domestic knowledge and no international knowledge. There is only knowledge. And with knowledge becoming the key resource, there is only a world economy, even though the individual organization in its daily activities operates within a national, regional, or even local setting.

    Social tasks are increasingly being done by individual organizations, each created for one, and only one, social task, whether education, health care, or street cleaning.

    Society, therefore, is rapidly becoming pluralist. Yet our social and political theories still assume that there are no power centers except government. To destroy or at least to render impotent all other power centers was, in fact, the thrust of Western history and Western politics for years, from the fourteenth century on.

    This drive culminated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when, except in the United States, such early institutions as still survived—for example, the universities and the churches—became organs of the state, with their functionaries becoming civil servants.

    But then, beginning in the mid nineteenth century, new centers arose—the first one, the modern business enterprise, around And since then one new organization after another has come into being. The new institutions—the labor union, the modern hospital, the mega church, the research university—of the society of organizations have no interest in public power.

    They do not want to be governments. But they demand—and, indeed, need—autonomy with respect to their functions. Even at the extreme of Stalinism the managers of major industrial enterprises were largely masters within their enterprises, and the individual industry was largely autonomous. So were the university, the research lab, and the military.

    At least, they tried to prevent any other organization from having control of any community concern or community institution within their domain. But in the society of organizations each of the new institutions is concerned only with its own purpose and mission. It does not claim power over anything else.

    But it also does not assume responsibility for anything else. Who, then, is concerned with the common good? This has always been a central problem of pluralism. No earlier pluralism solved it. The problem remains, but in a new guise. So far it has been seen as imposing limits on social institutions—forbidding them to do things in the pursuit of their mission, function, and interest which encroach upon the public domain or violate public policy.

    The laws against discrimination—by race, sex, age, educational level, health status, and so on—which have proliferated in the United States in the past forty years all forbid socially undesirable behavior.

    But we are increasingly raising the question of the social responsibility of social institutions: What do institutions have to do—in addition to discharging their own functions—to advance the public good?

    This, however, though nobody seems to realize it, is a demand to return to the old pluralism, the pluralism of feudalism. It is a demand that private hands assume public power. This could seriously threaten the functioning of the new organizations, as the example of the schools in the United States makes abundantly clear.

    One of the major reasons for the steady decline in the capacity of the schools to do their job—that is, to teach children elementary knowledge skills—is surely that since the s the United States has increasingly made the schools the carriers of all kinds of social policies: the elimination of racial discrimination, of discrimination against all other kinds of minorities, including the handicapped, and so on.

    Whether we have actually made any progress in assuaging social ills is highly debatable; so far the schools have not proved particularly effective as tools for social reform. But making the school the organ of social policies has, without any doubt, severely impaired its capacity to do its own job.

    The new pluralism has a new problem: how to maintain the performance capacity of the new institutions and yet maintain the cohesion of society. This makes doubly important the emergence of a b and functioning social sector. It is an additional reason why the social sector will increasingly be crucial to the performance, if not to the cohesion, of the knowledge society. Of the new organizations under consideration here, the first to arise, years ago, was the business enterprise.

    It was only natural, therefore, that the problem of the emerging society of organizations was first seen as the relationship of government and business. It was also natural that the new interests were first seen as economic interests. The first attempt to come to grips with the politics of the emerging society of organizations aimed, therefore, at making economic interests serve the political process.

    The first to pursue this goal was an American, Mark Hanna, the restorer of the Republican Party in the s and, in many ways, the founding father of twentieth-century American politics.

    His definition of politics as a dynamic disequilibrium between the major economic interests—farmers, business, and labor—remained the foundation of American politics until the Second World War.

    In fact, Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the Democratic Party by reformulating Hanna. And the basic political position of this philosophy is evident in the title of the most influential political book written during the New Deal years—Politics: Who Gets What, When, How , by Harold D.

    Mark Hanna in knew very well that there are plenty of concerns other than economic concerns. And yet it was obvious to him—as it was to Roosevelt forty years later—that economic interests had to be used to integrate all the others. This is still the assumption underlying most analyses of American politics—and, in fact, of politics in all developed countries. But the assumption is no longer tenable. But knowledge, the new resource for economic performance, is not in itself economic.

    It cannot be bought or sold. The fruits of knowledge, such as the income from a patent, can be bought or sold; the knowledge that went into the patent cannot be conveyed at any price. The acquisition of knowledge has a cost, as has the acquisition of anything. But the acquisition of knowledge has no price. Economic interests can therefore no longer integrate all other concerns and interests.

    As soon as knowledge became the key economic resource, the integration of interests—and with it the integration of the pluralism of a modern polity—began to be lost. Increasingly, non-economic interests are becoming the new pluralism—the special interests, the single-cause organizations, and so on. Politics is about the right to life of the embryo in the womb as against the right of a woman to control her own body and to abort an embryo.

    It is about the environment. It is about gaining equality for groups alleged to be oppressed and discriminated against. None of these issues is economic. All are fundamentally moral. Economic interests can be compromised, which is the great strength of basing politics on economic interests. But half a baby, in the biblical story of the judgment of Solomon, is not half a child. No compromise is possible. To an environmentalist, half an endangered species is an extinct species.

    This greatly aggravates the crisis of modern government. Newspapers and commentators still tend to report in economic terms what goes on in Washington, in London, in Bonn, or in Tokyo. But more and more of the lobbyists who determine governmental laws and governmental actions are no longer lobbyists for economic interests.

    They lobby for and against measures that they—and their paymasters—see as moral, spiritual, cultural. And each of these new moral concerns, each represented by a new organization, claims to stand for an absolute. Dividing their loaf is not compromise; it is treason. There is thus in the society of organizations no one integrating force that pulls individual organizations in society and community into coalition. The traditional parties—perhaps the most successful political creations of the nineteenth century—can no longer integrate divergent groups and divergent points of view into a common pursuit of power.

    Rather, they have become battlefields between groups, each of them fighting for absolute victory and not content with anything but total surrender of the enemy. The twenty-first century will surely be one of continuing social, economic, and political turmoil and challenge, at least in its early decades. What I have called the age of social transformation is not over yet.

    And the challenges looming ahead may be more serious and more daunting than those posed by the social transformations that have already come about, the social transformations of the twentieth century. Yet we will not even have a chance to resolve these new and looming problems of tomorrow unless we first address the challenges posed by the developments that are already accomplished facts, the developments reported in the earlier sections of this essay.

    These are the priority tasks. For only if they are tackled can we in the developed democratic free market countries hope to have the social cohesion, the economic strength, and the governmental capacity needed to tackle the new challenges. The first order of business—for sociologists, political scientists, and economists; for educators; for business executives, politicians, and nonprofit-group leaders; for people in all walks of life, as parents, as employees, as citizens—is to work on these priority tasks, for few of which we so far have a precedent, let alone tested solutions.

    We will have to think through education—its purpose, its values, its content. We will have to learn to define the quality of education and the productivity of education, to measure both and to manage both.

    We need systematic work on the quality of knowledge and the productivity of knowledge—neither even defined so far. The performance capacity, if not the survival, of any organization in the knowledge society will come increasingly to depend on those two factors.

    But so will the performance capacity, if not the survival, of any individual in the knowledge society. And what responsibility does knowledge have? What are the responsibilities of the knowledge worker, and especially of a person with highly specialized knowledge? Any proposed domestic policy needs to be shaped so as to improve that position, or at least to minimize adverse impacts on it. The same holds true for the policies and strategies of any institution within a nation, whether a local government, a business, a university, or a hospital.

    But then we also need to develop an economic theory appropriate to a world economy in which knowledge has become the key economic resource and the dominant, if not the only, source of comparative advantage. We are beginning to understand the new integrating mechanism: organization.

    But we still have to think through how to balance two apparently contradictory requirements. Organizations must competently perform the one social function for the sake of which they exist—the school to teach, the hospital to cure the sick, and the business to produce goods, services, or the capital to provide for the risks of the future.

    They can do so only if they single-mindedly concentrate on their specialized mission. Together these organizations are the community. The emergence of a b, independent, capable social sector—neither public sector nor private sector—is thus a central need of the society of organizations. But by itself it is not enough—the organizations of both the public and the private sector must share in the work. The function of government and its functioning must be central to political thought and political action.

    The megastate in which this century indulged has not performed, either in its totalitarian or in its democratic version. It has not delivered on a single one of its promises. And government by countervailing lobbyists is neither particularly effective—in fact, it is paralysis—nor particularly attractive. Yet effective government has never been needed more than in this highly competitive and fast-changing world of ours, in which the dangers created by the pollution of the physical environment are matched only by the dangers of worldwide armaments pollution.

    And we do not have even the beginnings of political theory or the political institutions needed for effective government in the knowledge-based society of organizations. If the twentieth century was one of social transformations,.

    Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? What are the moral limits of markets? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations.

    Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be? In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives.

    Wall Street has responded — predictably, I suppose — by whining and throwing temper tantrums. And it has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be. Remember when Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase characterized any discussion of income inequality as an attack on the very notion of success? Once upon a time, this fairy tale tells us, America was a land of lazy managers and slacker workers. Productivity languished, and American industry was fading away in the face of foreign competition.

    Then square-jawed, tough-minded buyout kings like Mitt Romney and the fictional Gordon Gekko came to the rescue, imposing financial and work discipline. But the result was a great economic revival, whose benefits trickled down to everyone. For the alleged productivity surge never actually happened. In fact, overall business productivity in America grew faster in the postwar generation, an era in which banks were tightly regulated and private equity barely existed, than it has since our political system decided that greed was good.

    We now think of America as a nation doomed to perpetual trade deficits, but it was not always thus. From the s through the s, we generally had more or less balanced trade, exporting about as much as we imported.

    The big trade deficits only started in the Reagan years, that is, during the era of runaway finance. And what about that trickle-down?

    It never took place. However, only a small part of those gains got passed on to American workers. So, no, financial wheeling and dealing did not do wonders for the American economy, and there are real questions about why, exactly, the wheeler-dealers have made so much money while generating such dubious results.

    But while this behavior may be funny, it is also deeply immoral. Think about where we are right now, in the fifth year of a slump brought on by irresponsible bankers.

    The bankers themselves have been bailed out, but the rest of the nation continues to suffer terribly, with long-term unemployment still at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with a whole cohort of young Americans graduating into an abysmal job market. And in the midst of this national nightmare, all too many members of the economic elite seem mainly concerned with the way the president apparently hurt their feelings.

    Beyond Information Revolution. The online version of this article appears in three parts. Click here to go to parts two and three. THE truly revolutionary impact of the Information Revolution is just beginning to be felt. It is something that practically no one foresaw or, indeed, even talked about ten or fifteen years ago: e-commerce — that is, the explosive emergence of the Internet as a major, perhaps eventually the major, worldwide distribution channel for goods, for services, and, surprisingly, for managerial and professional jobs.

    This is profoundly changing economies, markets, and industry structures; products and services and their flow; consumer segmentation, consumer values, and consumer behavior; jobs and labor markets. But the impact may be even greater on societies and politics and, above all, on the way we see the world and ourselves in it.

    At the same time, new and unexpected industries will no doubt emerge, and fast. One is already here: biotechnology. And another: fish farming. It is likely that other new technologies will appear suddenly, leading to major new industries.

    Perché non tutti si rapportano al compleanno nello stesso modo. E non vorrei parlarne solo in modo filtrato dalle mie lenti. Chi ha presente le gradazione di intensità delle cialde di caffè Nespresso? Siete pronti.

    Altrimenti, andatela a vedere. E le capsule in vendita partono da una intensità 4. Io, quindi, rappresento un estremo. Semplicemente non ho mai amato i miei compleanni. Anche lei la pensa come me. Che poi non so neanche perché non mi piacciano. Sono per natura particolarmente allegra ma so anche di essere stata allergica al mio compleanno sin da bambina quando di anni ne avevo pochi, troppo pochi per avere paura dei compleanni.

    Ero timida e non mi andava proprio di spegnere le candeline. Scoppiavo a piangere! E se da una parte mi piace parlare in pubblico e sono a mio agio davanti a platee, in riunioni importanti e di fronte a persone di qualsiasi genere, al mio compleanno invece mi imbarazzo. Anche da grande. Che noia. Anzi, quando arriva vorrei essere già scappata.

    Un caffè Volluto, ad esempio. Un gusto molto soft ma equilibrato tra i caffè Nespresso. Volluto che poi è un caffè che a me piace molto, è gradevole senza essere troppo forte. E che era pubblicizzato da George Clooney… What else?!?

    Comunque per tornare ai compleanni, dopo tanti compleanni ormai ho imparato a riconoscere che alle persone che ti vogliono bene veramente, faccia piacere festeggiarlo con te. Fa piacere a me e fa piacere a loro. Anche quella foto su Facebook con le amiche del cuore la condivido sempre con felicità. Un veramente intenso Kazaar. La sua voglia di festeggiare è alle stelle. Adora festeggiare, organizzare, invitare, entusiasmare, coinvolgere.

    Per questo lo posso bere solo ogni tanto. Per me è troppo intenso. In questo caso il qualcosa è la conoscenza con il festeggiato. Perché di conoscenze si tratta. Kazaar magari sono egocentrici ed organizzano belle feste, no? Quindi, almeno, Mr. Kazaar, presenzialista ed esuberante che festeggia con tanta intensità coinvolgendo il suo mondo di conoscenze allargato, magari ci invita ai suoi festeggiamenti.

    Anzi, lo ammiro il signor Kazaar. Ognuno deve fare quello che più gli fa piacere, che è la cosa più bella. Né leggero né pesante. Il signor Livanto non si fa troppi problemi, non ha le paturnie del Volluto né le manie di grandezza.

    Compie gli anni sereno, se vuole festeggia con gli amici che sceglie che sono i suoi soliti amici, più alcune persone che vorrà invitare perché gli sono simpatiche. Andare ad un suo compleanno è piacevole, divertente, se ci vai vuol dire che sei suo amico e lui ha pensato a te senza troppo arrovellarsi. Bella la normalità del Livanto. A volte sarei voluta nascere Livanto. Miss o Mr. Perché questa agitazione da compleanno in arrivo la vive da molto prima del compleanno vero e proprio e fa storie per festeggiarlo.

    Ci pensa, si arrovella. Rompe agli amici. Poi la formula giusta esce sempre fuori. Ed è sempre la stessa. E non siamo neanche sicuri che alla fine dei conti passi un compleanno ad intensità 4. Perché quando sei con i tuoi-amici-del-cuore-e-basta, dal di fuori puoi sembrare soft e vellutato come un Volluto ma avrai sicuramente vissuto un compleanno felice e intenso come un bel Kazaar!

    Parola di Volluto. Un biglietto di auguri che mi ha regalato mia cugina al mio compleanno. Lo trovo bellissimo. Iniziata a materializzarsi quando una sera eh già, di giorno lavoro ho iniziato a scrivere. Non avevo voglia di fare altro. Di uscire, di guardare la tv. Che vuol dire? Vuol dire che chi ama lamentarsi e lamentarsi e lamentarsi e lo fa con gusto, sa bene a chi rivolgersi per sfogare la sua voglia di lamento. Nella maggior parte dei casi, in virtù delle dinamiche proprie della concorrenza e della competizione, mai andrebbe a lamentarsi da chi è lamentoso come lui.

    Non correrebbe mai il rischio di farsi rubare la scena da qualcun altro che è lamentoso allo stesso modo. Troppa competizione. E la lotta sarebbe dura. Sono lagnosi, non scemi. Invece, se sei una persona lamentosa e che borbotta come una pentola di fagioli, cerchi di andare a scaraventare i fagioli che bollono nella tua pentola, su chi non solo non ti sovrasta ma ti ascolta e magari ti asseconda anche errore , a meno che tu non voglia diventare il numero uno tra i numeri preferiti da chiamare sul cellulare di questa persona.

    Le persone lagnose sono abili e sono strateghi della comunicazione. Ed ottengono quello che vogliono. Cioè, attenzioni solo per loro. Mi tolgono tante energie. E in questo pecco di ingenuità. Mi trovo spesso al telefono a sentire qualcuno che mi rovescia addosso le sue chilate di lamento. Sarà perché io non mi lamento tanto? Della suocera, del fidanzato, del lavoro, degli operai a casa, del gatto, del cane, del clima, del tempo.

    E di tutto quello che hai tu, moltiplicato per dieci. Tu hai mal di pancia? Loro hanno le coliche. Tu hai una caviglia slogata? Loro una possibile frattura. Tu hai una questione di lavoro che ti trattiene in ufficio fino alle 20? Loro sono rimaste al lavoro fino alle Il mondo richiedeva il loro aiuto da supereroi. Il tuo ciambellone non è lievitato? Il loro è esploso nel forno.

    E poi ha avuto una brutta ricaduta. Il tuo iphone 5 inizia a fare le bizze? Il suo iphone X già non funziona. Una catastrofe continua. Sia chiaro, se sei una persona normo-lamentos a, puoi lamentarti di tutte queste cose, certo, ma visto che sei normale, di solito ti lamenti di una cosa alla volta e di solito questa cosa rispecchia la realtà. A tutti capita di lamentarsi.

    Se sei una persona lamentosa di quelle patologiche , invece, hai un repertorio vasto di temi di cui parlare che alimenti di continuo, a forza di lamentartene. Sempre lo stesso repertorio a volte. E quindi diventi anche noiosa alle orecchie di chi ti ascolta.

    Allora un giorno ero proprio stufa e ci ho provato. Ho detto: oggi, quando vedo Tizia, prima che lei inizi, provo a lamentarmi di qualcosa con quel tono insopportabile prima io. Oggi lo faccio.

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    Mi ci sono messa di impegno. Dopo poco, aveva già trovato il collegamento giusto per prendere il mio argomento, farlo suo, amplificarlo e lamentarsene. Una stratega. Per fortuna la rete del mio cellulare ha reagito comunque in mio soccorso e come se stesse ascoltando le mie preghiere ha poi smesso di funzionare.

    Perché lamentoso ci nasci, non ci diventi. Niente da aggiungere. E se non lo ricordate, rivedete il film. Il motivo per cui mi piace parlare della spesa, è che trovo che la spesa sia piena di vita. Della nostra vita. La spesa parla di te e tu non te ne accorgi. Lasciamo perdere le volte in cui compriamo detersivi e cose utili. Sappiamo tutti che la spesa è composta da tante cose. Ma a volte io credo che spesso anche quando compriamo cose che riteniamo inutili o superflue, queste in fondo non lo siano.

    Anzi, alle volte penso che siano richieste che ci fa il nostro corpo e che nei momenti di debolezza, stanchezza, alle 20 di sera quando giri senza meta per il supermercato e sei senza lista della spesa, assecondiamo con più naturalezza.

    Sto per fare un esempio. Ci ho pensato riguardando a posteriori una foto fatta qualche tempo fa, circa un mese fa. Ma tanto poi tornano utili. Questo il bottino:. Se rivedo quelle che io considero le voglie di quella sera per me ora è chiaro. A volte ci sentiamo meglio anche solo provando dei sapori che ci ricordano momenti belli in cui ci sentivamo protetti. Perché io sono sicura, ora più che mai, che il nostro corpo i segni ce li dia.

    E che forse non siamo sempre tutti molto allenati ad ascoltarlo. E che il nostro cervello non credo vorrebbe far entrare nel nostro corpo qualcosa che, quando stiamo male, peggiori le cose ma tutto il contrario. The reason why I like talking about grocery shopping is that I really think that shopping is full of life. Of our life.

    It can truly and sincearly reflect your mood. Besides all the times we buy detergents and useful stuff. All of us know that grocery shopping is made of lot of products, necessary and unnecessary stuff.

    But sometimes I believe that even those things we buy as unuseful, in reality are not. Instead sometimes I believe that is our body that seek those things. An example. I thought about a photo taken none month ago yeso I take photos af everything but finally they comes in handy.

    In that period I started feeling badly, preview of some healty problem that I would have find out some days later. My head made some wishes and I supported it. This was my loot:. Looking at those that I consider that night cravings, it is all clear. In my opinion I was sick and my body seeked some precise food. And Rossana candies, a vintage whim I only buy when I need cuddles. Sometimes happens we fell better just tasting some flavours that remind to us beautiful moments in the past when we felt protected.

    I really believe that if we follow our head and body requirements, on one hand we could probably get too fat indulging at least even too much, giving in an unstoppable need of bacon, or junk food in the premestrual in those days I need oriental food and fried one.

    On the other side, sometimes we could easily test how we feel, what our body really wants or what we miss. Because I am pretty sure that oure body give us warnings. And may be we are not trained to carefully listen to it. Like cats eating grass to naturally heal themselves. But now I am really curious to know what I will grab when I am recovered.

    In my opinion…and who knows me would agree with me…first of all my cart will get tortellini rana, which are always in my fridge, parmigiano reggiano, a bottle of wine and…chilos of ice cream! I am going to find it out if it is true. Spesso quando mi va di scrivere ma non posso scrivere in quel preciso momento, prendo appunti brevi. Una nota sul cellulare, nella mia agenda. Perché nel momento in cui ti passa qualcosa per la testa, questa dura il tempo di una stella cadente.

    Appena non la vedi più la dimentichi. Come quando fai un sogno e te lo ricordi solo per pochi minuti dopo esserti svegliato. Ogni tanto trovo appunti vecchi, cose che non mi ricordavo più di avere scritto. Chissà cosa devo aver sentito e quando. Mica sono normale io. Una frase di un film? Di un telefilm? Una serie? Qualche riflessione smielata in tv? Io non me lo ricordo assolutamente.

    E quindi mi viene in mente il mio. Ormai è passato tantissimo tempo. Quindi posso dire che, ad oggi, quantifico come non tantissimo ma tanto il tempo passato da quando ho lasciato che calasse tra noi un sipario di ghiaccio.

    Per fortuna hai le tue amiche che ti stanno vicino e che ti ascoltano pazienti, mentre questo mostro, quando diventa ex, cresce ogni giorno di più, e invece di perdere potenza, per il primo periodo la acquisisce sempre di più. Più ne parli più aumenta. I nostri ex iniziano quindi a configurarsi come tanti Voldemord di Harry Potter. Anche solo perché ogni volta che li nomini con il loro nome fai dieci passi indietro nel tuo percorso di recupero.

    E se li incontri ne fai cento. Se qualcuno ti fa stare male, come fai a non dipingerlo come mostro? Forse è anche un appiglio per difendersi, per riuscire a distaccarsi un giorno definitivamente da loro, dagli ex. Poi si sa, nei momenti di crisi o panico ognuno tira fuori le sue reazioni peggiori. A volte il peggio di sé. Tante parole che non vorresti mai ti fossero uscite dalla bocca.

    Insomma di solito è un bel macello per tutti e due. Ma poi, il tempo cura tutto, dicono. Che ti serve ad ottenere un piccolo effetto per iniziare a riabilitarti al mondo. E il povero o la povera malcapitata che ti capita per le mani in quel momento di post lasciamento, spesso si ritrova a subire tutto il tuo mood noir e a cogliere la parte peggiore di te.

    Loro conosceranno un te che in molti casi non sei te. Mi dispiace ma capita a tutti. Mandiamo una controfigura finta di noi perché in quel momento non ci va di scommettere su niente e su nessuno.

    Viviamo solo un nostro momento di egoismo. Ti serve per riprendere il tuo terreno, approdare con quella zattera su un nuovo pezzetto di terraferma da colonizzare e poi bruciare la zattera. Per guardare avanti. Forse serve per non restarci appesi alla coda a vicenda.

    Sarà che io non sono mai stata amica di un ex. E non credo ne sarei in grado. La cosa che non si sa è il quando. A chi tocca prima e a chi tocca poi. A note in my smartphone, another note in my agenda. Indeed, when some ideas come to my mind, they last just the duration of a falling star. Moreover, like in the S. Lorenz night, then you put your nose up waiting for the next falling star.

    Or like when you make a dream and you remember it only for a few minutes after you have got up. Who knows what I had heard and when, to write this kind of note. Definetely I am not normal. However, it could be a quote of a movie?

    Of a TV show? Some sappy consideration heard on Tv? But the question is still valid. So I thought of it. And my ex comes to my mind. By now, it is a long time since we broke up. Actually I started counting the time form the moment we broke up. It helped me to isolate myself from him and from the monstrous idea I got of him since we broke up. At the beginning and for quite a bit, I have depicted him in my mind like a monster.

    Just like in a second you can radically change your mind about that person that has been close to you for quite a bit when he definetly was not a monster for you. Luckily you have your girlfriends who are close to you. They listen to you patiently, while that monster grows up day by day.

    Instead of losing power, for the first period he gets more and more power. And the more you talk about him the more he gets power. Our exes start resembling to Voldemord, the antagonist of Harry Potter. Those worst evils among the evils whose name nobody must never pronounciate. Actually every time you name them you walk ten steps behind in you recovery.

    And when you meet them you walk even one hundred steps behind. Thus, the answer is yes. We depict our exes like monsters, not because we are stupid. It is like you have been thrown away form a comfortable yacht to a wooden raft in the middle of the sea.

    May be it could be only a pretext to defend ourselves, to finally being able one day to become detached from them, from the exes. Moreover, it is known, when in crisis or panic, everyone get out their worste. In short, it is usually a mess for both of them. He is an awful monster and you are a one too. Then, they say the time cures all. But It is not that true. Do you know what does it cure something?

    It can be very useful to get a little effect to start your recovery. The poor unfortunate person who meet you in that post broke up time, often gets victim of your noir mood and gets the worst part of you.

    It is just an avatar you send around while your real you is recovering.


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