Friday, January 27, 2012

Black Arm Band

Image: S. Braswell
Over the centuries, grieving customs have changed. It seems that along with the speeding up of everything else, we are expected to also do our grieving at warp speed.

The black armband, once de rigeur as a sign of mourning, is vanishing. It can still be seen on the arms of some Irish, German, Austrian and northern and central European Catholic groups.

As restrictive as some of the rules regarding mourning were, they at least allowed others to have an understanding of how the mourner was feeling and presumably, would cut them a bit of slack.

Have there been times in your life when you have not been at your best? Perhaps someone had recently died, or was critically ill and you were focusing on this rather than what you were doing. As a result, you may have been less than present and done or said something that others may have found heedless or heartless. However, if they had known your circumstances, which you probably wouldn't share with strangers, they may have chosen to show you some compassion.

Life is made of ups and downs. There are times when a series of downs seem to be strung together like so many burnt-out Christmas lights. When these events hit, performance is affected. Perhaps more mistakes are made, you have less patience or your temper is shorter.

When you have good emotional management techniques in your repertoire of daily living skills, they allow you to better handle not only the downs in your life, but the ups, as well. These skills help to keep you afloat in the ocean of life, where sometimes you are in the trough, other times you are on the crest of the wave or somewhere in between.

When you learn these techniques, you not only learn to undress your stress, but you also learn to augment your performance, for those times when you don't have any stress. Think of it as accruing interest - building resilience. That's something you can Bank on!





3 comments:

  1. The black arm band is still very much seen in India. In many public events like sporting events, you will see participants as well as spectators wearing them as a mark of respect and mourning for some one departed. Followers of all religions here practice this.

    Yes, when you can manage your emotions well, such external signals are not necessary.

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  2. Ramana,
    Is the arm band the only sign of mourning?

    Learn, change and grow - all part of our journey here on earth.

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  3. Publicly yes. Hindus generally forgo all celebrations and festivals for a year as mourning for a departed soul. This is particularly galling for youngsters who cannot celebrate festivals like diwali etc.

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