Posted on 06/09/2013

Photo taken on June  9, 2013

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Jared Diamond
The World Until Yesterday

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……. We are taught to be independent and to rely on ourselves. Independence, individualism, and self-reliance are all praised as virtues, and the opposite traits of dependence, inability to stand on one’s own feet, and inability to take care of oneself as disparaged. In fact, for Americans a dependent personality is a clinical diagnosis used by psychiatrists and psychologists, and labeled Mental Disorder number 301.6 by the American Psychiatric Association, to identify a condition requiring treatment, whose goal is to help the regrettably dependent individual achieve the American virtue of independence. ~ Page 224

……. Surveys of Louis Harris and Associates showed that American people believe that the elderly are bored, closed-minded, dependent, isolated, lonely, narrow-minded, neglected, old-fashioned, passive, poor, sedentary, sexually inactive, sick, unalert, unproductive, morbidly afraid of death, in constant fear of crime, living the worst years of life – and spending a good deal of their time sleeping, sitting and doing nothing, or nostalgically dwelling upon their past. These view were help equally by old people polled and by young people polled, even though the individuals old people polled claimed that they themselves didn’t fit those stereotypes applying on the average to other old people. ~ Page 227