Theme: Hope in a Time of Crisis and Change
In Prometheus Bound, a play by Aeschylus, Prometheus is chained to a rock as punishment for giving humans the gift of fire (and thus technology). In addition, he gave us another gift: he made It impossible for us to foresee our own deaths. But since we still know that we can suffer and die (because we observe others doing so), this ignorance and uncertainty tends to make us miserable. We can use technology to predict the future, but this can also make things worse if the predictions are both accurate and dire. The chorus in the play asks Prometheus, “what cure did you discover for their misery?” And Prometheus responds, “I planted firmly in their hearts blind hopefulness.” But blind hope is a fickle companion for our woe. It is not enough. Still, by forcing our gaze to the future, hope can serve another purpose: it can motivate us to prepare.
Quotation from Nicholas Christakis, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronvirus on the Way We Live, 2020.
This issue of Psychologue focuses on HOPE. Has there ever been a better time to focus on this important psychological stance. We have all lived through a year of hellish threat, turbulence and pain. Our school lived through a year in which the very foundation of this institution was destroyed as a result of arrogant and ignorant actions taken by staff members in a California governmental agency (Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education) who were themselves dealing with highly stressful conditions.
I have often referenced a useful acronym when describing the current status of our world: VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). If that is not enough, I add to this challenging mix the conditions of turbulence and contradiction. Stir these all together and you get “VUCA-Plus”. While we face the prospect of drowning in this perfect VUCA-Plus storm, it would seem to be a good time to cry out for help and muster up our courage and embrace a hopeful perspective while we stay afloat (and perhaps even swim to a nearby shore).
In bringing forth a stance of Hope, we have included in this issue a statement of Hope from Clara Gia Shinta, our regular contributor from Indonesia—as well as a wonderful update of an article written by one of our graduates, Maria Calderon Romaro who (as some of you know) lived through a very trying time after giving birth to triplets. Her update (along with a link to the article which was published in our Library of Professional Psychology) speaks to the healing and motivating power of Hope.
In building on this edifice of Hope, we offer an appreciative statement about PSP that has recently been made by one of our graduates from many years ago (Jim Jones). Jim provides a brief review of his professional life after graduation. We complement Jim’s statement with a new feature in Psychologue: a shoutout to one of our graduates who has led an interesting postgraduate life. In this issue, we highlight the life and work of David Skibbins. He has not only provided psychological services (both therapy and executive coaching) for many years—but has also written books on leadership. To top it off, David is a successful author of wonderful fictional books filled with mystery and fantasy.
Finally, we provide a hopeful update regarding what is currently being done by members of the PSP community as we move beyond the granting of graduate degrees. In addition, we speak to the new directions in which we are now moving that will enable us to sustain and grow PSP on behalf of its new global mission. The dreams and aspirations that were articulated in issues of Psychologue that were published during the hellish year of 2020 are now being realized. Hopefully, you will be joining us in our new ventures as a member of the new Global PSP Community.
- Posted by William Bergquist
- On February 15, 2021
- 0 Comment