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Conflicts

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My dear Jack and Jil, I present a few nuggets from my letters to you this year. Here they are: Continue reading

Dear Jack, no, he shouldn’t have told you that. It’s because he doesn’t understand what you’re dealing with. You’re suffering from depression. Depression is a disease of the soul – no different from any other disease really, so nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s more vicious than many physical ailments.

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My dear Jack, if you knew you had just one day to live what would you do? Yes, I know young people don’t think about mortality. There’s the assumption of eternal life, like life is stretched out before you like a red carpet. Yet one has to live circumspectly and use his time wisely. Continue reading

My dear Jil, you could have solved this whole thing with just three words – “I am sorry!” If you had said those words right after you discovered he was upset, and really meant it, you wouldn’t be at this impasse. And we can say “I’m sorry” and not mean it, you know, say it as something that’s meant to be said, just so we say we placated our partner. But it comes across very wrongly. Continue reading

We all have a past Jil, there’s none of us without a past. There’s none of us who hasn’t done something he or she is not ashamed of in life. We all have unrevealed stuff that make us cringe in regret, actions we’d rather not talk about, memories we’d rather not revisit. Unless of course you somehow did a quantum leap over the period of youth and arrived at adulthood suddenly. Even as adults there are things we’ve all done we’re ashamed of. Everybody has a past, everybody has a present. Agreed some pasts are grosser than others and some sins more egregious than others, but we’re all sinners.
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My dear Jil, ever heard of a bacteria with an initial? Well, there’s one called H. Pylori (full name Helicobacter Pylori). That already tells you this bug is special, and what with that kind of name. It’s a nasty piece of work that can stay in your body for decades, bidding its time quietly.

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My dear Jil, of course you’ve heard of the phrase, “Ceteris paribus.” It’s a Latin phrase meaning “other things being equal.” Another translation of “ceteris paribus” is “all other things being constant,” or “all else unchanged.” It’s a deploy of economists in determining causation and isolating variables. It’s almost like freezing time. But it’s not really real because in life other things are never equal. In life all else don’t remain unchanged, all other things are not constant, every action provokes a reaction; a change occurs.
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My dear Jack, well, if she earns higher than you what can you do? It’s what it is. I mean, you can’t tell her employer to reduce her pay because she earns higher than you! “Increase my salary because my girlfriend earns higher than I” is obviously not tenable in the corporate sector. Someone is bound to ask, why don’t you date someone earning lower than you if it’s a real concern?
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My dear Jack, the simple truth is, both of you are generating different realities from the same set of facts. And that’s because each of you is processing the facts through his or her desire. She wants a much earlier wedding, you want a latter wedding. That simple fact is at the root of the issues in this relationship. It’s what is affecting the relationship, it’s what is determining and driving the interpretation of facts.
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My dear Jil, you probably haven’t heard about Darius Complex. It stems from ancient history – a king in ancient times who arrogated to himself God-like powers. The name of this king was Darius. For thirty days everyone was supposed to pray to King Darius as if he was God. You weren’t allowed to pray to any other deity. Everyone had to supplicate Darius, king of Persia for all their needs in those thirty days. He was in effect acting God. Of course if you lived in Ancient Persia at that time and you worshipped God, the advent of this “Man-God” must have been alarming. That’s where “Darius Complex” came from – it’s about a human taking absolute authority over another person’s life.
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