Proverbs 26:11

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

Such was the phrase that turned over and over in my mind when I heard that A– had seized speakership of the lower house. Surprisingly, the thought came neither with anger nor with dismay but with bemusement. Three years down, this is the change that you all voted for?

As with many such biblical expressions, the proverb is fraught with meaning. I looked up its history and usage. Apparently in ancient times, dogs were considered unclean as they were scavengers of the dead. That a dog should consume its own vomit, this doesn’t need a long stretch of imagination — it is meant to evoke shame and revulsion.

The image of the fool is more interesting. Unlike our common modern association with diminished intellectual capacity, “the fool” in Proverbs is a person lacking moral behavior and discipline. Contrast this with “the wise”, who behaves righteously.

Continue reading Proverbs 26:11

The Nursing Trap

Giving words to what we already know, Filipino Nursing Graduates and the Risk of the Migration Trap discusses the Sisyphean struggle that aspiring Filipino nurses undergo in their search for a better life outside the country. The key argument are the two traps that they fall into:

The first is the migration trap…: aspiring migrants obtain specific credentials in the hope of working overseas, yet are unable to leave when labor demands or immigration requirements change…. Lacking public funds, Philippine hospitals could not offer permanent positions to the staggering number of nursing graduates within the country, leaving many unemployed and unable to obtain the work experience needed for jobs in alternative destinations like Japan and Singapore. Filipino nursing graduates caught in this situation then find themselves in an opportunity trap…: the never-ending need to collect credentials in order to secure a positional advantage in the job market.

Moreover, the author argues that rather than brain drain, it is a problem of brain waste as “…qualified nursing graduates find themselves in industries and jobs that have little need for their skills.”

Brutal.

Collective narcissism

Today I learned a new concept that, on examination, I think I should have known long ago: collective narcissism. This captures the essence of a common contemporary phenomenon.

As opposed to individuals with narcissistic personality, who maintain inflated views of themselves, collective narcissists exaggerate offences to their group’s image, and respond to them aggressively. Collective narcissists believe that their group’s importance and worth are not sufficiently recognised by others. They feel that their group merits special treatment, and insist that it gets the recognition and respect it deserves. In other words, collective narcissism amounts to a belief in the exaggerated greatness of one’s group, and demands external validation.

Sounds familiar?