Why not Russell Brand?

Russell Brand is self-educated, enthusiastic about politics and believes in change. What’s so wrong about that?

“There is a difference between noticing people are a bit fed up with politicians and starting a coherent political movement, and you can tell the two apart because a man who truly knows what he is talking about does not start blathering on about 9/11 conspiracy theories”, writes The Guardian.

This article upsets me. Yes, Russell Brand does have a record as a provocateur but is it really this hard to be inspired and take faith in his passion, optimism and incentive to ask cutting questions for peace? How dare a self-educated man with a working class background hold a passionate opinion about anything? He may not have all the answers, but he’s certainly connecting political ideas with an audience that don’t normally listen and engage.

All the attacks on Russell Brand are starting to make me think… maybe he’s on to something.

True Character

Today’s blogpost is one about psychology. I met a lot of people in the past few weeks. All of them different and unique on their own. All had a job to complain about, a favorite movie to recommend, all were really sympathetic. While it’s fun to meet a lot of new people, I can’t say I’ve gotten more insight into human nature. I met them all at events I went to – sipping on a glass of wine standing in a circle. Everyone’s at their nicest at these events. Everyone’s social, curious and somewhat happy in life. As if.

I’ve been wondering: What are the really small things that tell a lot about a person’s personality and psychology?

I’ve got two personal tests. My first is to see what happens when you put a person into stressful situations: in crisis,  a challenge, in conflict, with a big problem to solve, with an injustice in front of them, a temptation in front of them or an experience that would require self control, judgement and wisdom to handle well. Sometimes the tiniest amount of stress can reveal someone’s true character.

My second test to reveal someone’s true character is to pay close attention to the ways they evaluate other people. This can tell you a lot about someone.  Do they start with how they take care of themselves?  Or what they read, watch, and listen to?  Or how about how they treat others?  Vocabulary can tell you a lot about where a person’s from, what they do, and what they’re thinking.  One of the more reliable ones for me is what stresses them out, and how they react to it.  Or do they rely on superficial characteristics like race and stereotypes (stupid liberals or ignorant conservatives)?  And how accurate are their evaluations?  Do they make an immediate assumption and stick with it, no matter what new evidence is presented, or do they take their time and reserve judgement until they have more facts?

These questions have always worked for me. They can’t tell you who they are but it’s a pretty good map to finding their true character. At least, in my opinion.

What do you do? Do you have personal tests, too?