The Pearl of Great Price
He asked me what I was looking for.
"Frankly," I said, "I'm looking for the Pearl of Great Price."
He slipped his hand into his pocket, drew it out, and GAVE IT TO ME. It was just like that! I was dumbfounded. Then I began to protest: "You don't want to give it to me? Don't you want to keep it for yourself? But..."
When I kept this up, he said finally, "Look, is it better to have the Pearl of Great Price, or to give it away?" --
Well, now I have it. I don't tell anyone. From some there would be disbelief and ridicule. "You, you have the Peart of Great Price? Hah!" Others would be jealous, or someone might steal it. Yes, I do have it. But there's that question--- "Is it better to have it, or to give it away?" How long will that question rob me of my joy?"
[From Tales of a Magic Monastery by Theophane the Monk]
So much to learn. So little time.....
The importance of a theory, for me, is its usefulness. And Erikson's theory shows how development extends over a lifespan. It demonstrates the positives which enrich society and the negatives which may undermine society or civil discourse. But the good thing is that when you can name something and see it as part of a pattern, it helps you "see" where the problems lie. And maybe even to make use of the problems - by finding creative solutions.
It is a sad fact that blogging sometimes brings out the worst in people -- nay-saying, trolling, belittling. This kind of behavior sows mistrust. It tries to disrupt cooperation. often using shaming in the process. You've seen such comments - comments at the lower levels of Erikson's developmental stages.
Here is simple rhyme that will help you remember how to categorize certain uphelpful comments, meant to distract or disrupt polite conversation:
Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt. That's Stage 2 of Erikson's theory. The virtue of resolving that stage, as I've redefined it, is cooperation. The person who learns to accept limits and to cooperate becomes more independent in the process. Cooperation is so basic to society. Just like trust.
Those who throw poo
Trying to shame you
Teaching Stage II
Most of us learned this long ago.
Giving. That's the basis of cooperation. How often have you seen a tiny toddler going around a room giving? That child is learning to "give up" and cooperate.
Self-less giving is the virtue of Stage 7: Generativity. I pass this piece of wisdom along: Sometimes a heap of dung may yield the Pearl of Great Price.