This Psychological Life


It was the worst of times and is the best of times (apologies to Charles D)

There is an interesting phenomenon known as emotional contagion. Just like a virus, emotions can spread through a group, surreptitiously, out of our awareness. One moment you’re feeling on top of the world and the next you feel grumpy and miserable, and not sure why. Well, yes, it could be the hormones (male ones as well as female) and it could be all sorts of environmental factors that we now know can affect the human brain and how we feel. There you go, that’s why you feel so good swinging in a hammock some- where in Hawaii and less good when sitting at your desk at work. You didn’t need me to tell you that but it is much more subtle.



Sometimes it can just be that your boss is in a bad mood, barked at a couple of people and then the virus spread like wild fire. A good case for avoiding toxic people, something I have learned to do much to my benefit, The opposite is also true where positivity and good will can propagate and infect all and sundry.

So it is that Australia currently feels like a great gloom has lifted from it. The bully, the pugilist and arch-conservative, Voldemort, has been removed from office. Unplugged from the mains, he spent a little time spitting the dummy all over the place but has now run out of energy. That antagonism, or should I be more accurate and call it venality, of his was infectious and it seemed as if we were all less amiable, more prone to attack each other, angry. It was like the Death Eaters (Harry Potter) were at the door and the will to live was being sucked out of us without us knowing quite why.

It now feels like the sun has come out and there is a peace about the land. Yes, we still have the extremes on each of the left and right wing political poles finding fault with everything without any really good reason but the mood has changed for the rest of us. Centre stage is Flash, Saviour of the Universe (Queen), and there is hope. Even for a left winger like me Flash has some- thing going for him. Mind you, Attilla the Hun would do well in the polls after Voldemort. And poor old Bill is about as charismatic as a wet tea towel. C’mon Albo!


But I digress and should stay away from these weighty topics such as who can best build on our recent bipartisan policy failures on the treatment of refugees, our role in Syria, lack of compassion to Syrian refugees, coal seam gas, massive coal mines, global warming, renewable energy, the list goes on and on.

So, stay away I shall because I am in a good mood, brought on by the passing of Voldemort and at least some of the Death Eaters, although I fear some of them are just being held in check by Flash but we will have to see. For the time being, though, I am enjoying the breath of fresh air. Even more I am relishing the confusion of the Murdoch press, which doesn’t know quite what to do although it will find something to vilify soon. And dear old Aunty seems to have grown new wings.

Emotional contagion on a national scale. 

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