Dollars

Social/Lifestyles/People


AS A NEWLYWED in the 1980s, a Japanese martial arts master named Ichiro expected only good things.

He and his wife, Tomoko, lived among the cherry blossoms in Saitima, a prosperous city just outside of Tokyo. The couple had their first child, a boy named Tim. They owned their house, and took out a loan to open a dumpling restaurant.

Then the market crashed. Suddenly, Ichiro and Tomoko were deeply in debt. So they did what hundreds of thousands of Japanese have done in similar circumstances: They sold their house, packed up their family, and disappeared. For good.

“People are cowards,” Ichiro says today. “They all want to throw in the towel one day, to disappear and reappear somewhere nobody knows them. I never envisioned running away to be an end in itself … You know, a disappearance is something you can never shake. Fleeing is a fast track toward death.”

The New York Post reports, of the many oddities that are culturally specific to Japan — from cat cafes to graveyard eviction notices to the infamous Suicide Forest, where an estimated 100 people per year take their own lives — perhaps none is as little known, and curious, as “the evaporated people.”

Since the mid-1990s, it’s estimated that at least 100,000 Japanese men and women vanish annually. They are the architects of their own disappearances, banishing themselves over indignities large and small: divorce, debt, job loss, failing an exam.

“The Vanished: The Evaporated People of Japan in Stories and Photographs” (Skyhorse) is the first known, in-depth reportage of this phenomenon. French journalist Léna Mauger learned of it in 2008, and spent the next five years reporting a story she and collaborator Stéphane Remael couldn’t believe.

“It’s so taboo,” Mauger tells The Post. “It’s something you can’t really talk about. But people can disappear because there’s another society underneath Japan’s society. When people disappear, they know they can find a way to survive.”

These lost souls, it turns out, live in lost cities of their own making.

The slums in Sanya. Picture: Zanpei

The city of Sanya, as Mauger writes, isn’t located on any map. Technically, it doesn’t even exist. It’s a slum within Tokyo, one whose name has been erased by authorities. What work can be found here is run by the yakuza — the Japanese mafia — or employers looking for cheap, off-the-books labour. The evaporated live in tiny, squalid hotel rooms, often without internet or private toilets. Talking in most hotels is forbidden after 6pm.

Here, Mauger met a man named Norihiro. Now 50, he disappeared himself 10 years ago. He’d been cheating on his wife, but his true disgrace was losing his job as an engineer.

Too ashamed to tell his family, Norihiro initially kept up appearances: he’d get up early each weekday, put on his suit and tie, grab his briefcase and kiss his wife goodbye. Then he’d drive to his former office building and spend the entire workday sitting in his car — not eating, not calling anyone.

Norihiro did this for one week. The fear that his true situation would be discovered was unbearable.

“I couldn’t do it anymore,” he tells Mauger. “After 19 hours I was still waiting, because I used to go out for drinks with my bosses and colleagues. I would roam around, and when I finally returned home, I got the impression my wife and son had doubts. I felt guilty. I didn’t have a salary to give them anymore.”

On what would have been his payday, Norihiro groomed himself immaculately, and got on his usual train line — in the other direction, right toward Sanya. He left no word, no note, and for all his family knows, he wandered into Suicide Forest and killed himself.

Today, he lives under an assumed name, in a windowless room he secures with a padlock. He drinks and smokes too much, and has resolved to live out the rest of his days practising this most masochistic form of penance.

“After all this time,” Norihiro says, “I could certainly take back my old identity … But I don’t want my family to see me in this state. Look at me. I look like nothing. I am nothing. If I die tomorrow, I don’t want anyone to be able to recognise me.”

Yuichi is a former construction worker who vanished in the mid-1990s. He’d been taking care of his sick mother, and the expenses involved — home health care, food, rent — bankrupted him.

“I couldn’t handle failing my mother,” he says. “She had given me everything, but I was incapable of taking care of her.”

What Yuichi did next may seem paradoxical, perverse even — but in Japanese culture, in which suicide is considered the most dignified way to erase the shame one has visited upon their family, it makes sense. He brought his mother to a cheap hotel, rented her a room, and left her there, never to return.

He disappeared to Sanya.

An alley in the slums known as Sanya in Tokyo. Picture: Google Maps

Here, Yuichi says, “You see people in the street, but they have already ceased to exist. When we fled from society, we disappeared the first time. Here, we are killing ourselves slowly.”

“Evaporations” have surged in Japan at key points: the aftermath of World War II, when national shame was at its apex, and in the aftermath of the financial crises of 1989 and 2008.

A shadow economy has emerged to service those who want never to be found — who want to make their disappearances look like abductions, their homes look like they’ve been robbed, no paper trail or financial transactions to track them down.

Night-time Movers was one such company, started by a man named Shou Hatori. He’d run a legitimate moving service until one night, in a karaoke bar, a woman asked if Hatori could arrange for her to “disappear, along with her furniture. She said she could not stand her husband’s debts, which were ruining her life.”

Hatori charged $3,400 per midnight move. His clientele was vast: from housewives who’d shopped their families into debt to women whose husbands had left them to university students who were sick of doing chores in their dorms.

He refused to give specifics to the authors, but he eventually quit; as a child, Hatori himself had disappeared with his parents from Kyoto, after they found themselves in debt. He believes that his former line of work was a kindness.

“People often associate [this] with cowardice,” he says. “But while doing this work, I came to understand it as a beneficial move.”

Hatori wound up serving as a consultant for a Japanese TV show about the phenomenon. “Flight by Night” was a hit in the late 1990s, a fictionalised anthology series based on true vanishings. A company based on Hatori’s, called Rising Sun, was integral to the show’s plot, summarised online:

“Need help managing your finances? Up to your ears in debt? Rising Sun is the consulting firm you need on your side. Too late for stopgap measures? Is running away or suicide the only way out? Turn once again to Rising Sun. By day, Genji Masahiko runs a reputable consulting firm, but by night, they help the desperate find a new life.”

A street in Kabukicho. Picture: Google Maps

Whatever shame motivates a Japanese citizen to vanish, it’s no less painful than the boomerang effect on their families — who, in turn, are so shamed by having a missing relative that they usually won’t report it to the police.

Those families who do search turn to a private group called Support of Families of Missing People, which keeps all clients and details private. Its address is hard to find, and its headquarters consist of one small room with one desk and walls sooty with cigarette smoke.

The organisation is staffed with detectives — often with evaporations or suicides in their own family histories — who take on these cases pro bono. They average 300 cases a year, and their work is difficult: Unlike the United States, there is no national database for missing people in Japan. There are no documents or identifiers — such as our Social Security numbers — that can be used to track a person once they begin travelling within the country. It is against the law for police to access ATM transactions or financial records.

“Most of the investigations end part way through,” says Sakae Furuuchi, a detective who serves as the group’s director. He cites the prohibitive cost of hiring private detectives: $500 a day, up to $15,000 a month — impossible for those whose loved one has fled due to debt.

“The people who flee debt and violence change their names and sometimes their appearances,” Sakae says. “The others aren’t thinking people will try to find them.”

Sakae was able to find one young man who disappeared at age 20. He hadn’t come home after taking an exam, and by chance, one of his friends spotted him in southern Tokyo. Sakae wandered the streets until finding the student, who was, Mauger writes, “shaking from shame … He had not taken the exam for fear of failing it and disappointing his family. Tempted by suicide, he had not found a way to take his life.”

Another case, unresolved, involved the young mother of a disabled 8-year-old boy. On the day of her son’s school musical, in which he was performing, the mother disappeared — despite promising the boy she’d be sitting in the front row.

Her seat remained empty. She was never seen again. Her husband and child agonise; the woman had never given any indication she was unhappy, in pain, or had done something she thought wrong.

Sakae remains hopeful.

“She’s a mother,” he tells Mauger. “Maybe her path will lead her back to her loved ones.”

The sheer cliff of Tojinbo, one of the most known suicide spots in Japan. Picture: AFP/Harumi Ozawa

In many ways, Japan is a culture of loss. According to a 2014 report by the World Health Organisation, Japan’s suicide rate is 60 per cent higher than the global average. There are between 60 and 90 suicides per day. It’s a centuries-old concept dating back to the Samurai, who committed seppuku — suicide by ritual disembowelment — and one as recent as the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II.

Japanese culture also emphasises uniformity, the importance of the group over the individual. “You must hit the nail that stands out” is a Japanese maxim, and for those who can’t, or won’t, fit into society, adhere to its strict cultural norms and near-religious devotion to work, to vanish is to find freedom of a sort.

For younger Japanese, those who want to live differently but don’t want to completely cut ties with family and friends, there’s a compromise: the life of the otakus, who live parallel lives as their favourite anime characters, disappearing from time to time into alternate realities where, in costume, they find themselves.

“Running away is not always about leaving,” a young man named Matt told Mauger. “We dream of love and freedom, and sometimes we make do with a little — a costume, a song, a dance with our hands. In Japan, that is already a lot.”

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was republished with permission

Originally published as Japan’s mysterious ‘evaporating people’

Henry Sapiecha

SUNSHINE STATE QLD BEACHFRONT APARTMENTS ON-LINE AUCTION

Act Now for Extraordinary Value

Current bid is $250,000 – bid your best price – or ‘buy now’

Want to
try before you bid?

Sensational ‘Try before you Bid’ Accommodation Offers are available at the luxury hotel and resort.

Contact us for details

These luxury 2 bedroom seaside apartments will be sold! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for investment or live-in lifestyle.

  • Apartment clearance sale – will be sold
  • “Bid” or “buy now” and secure your purchase – subject to finance welcome
  • 7% Rental Guarantee with security bond
  • Cash flow positive – Australia’s best investment property
  • Capital growth opportunity abounds
  • Furniture pack financed at 4% interest
  • Full flexibility – rent casually, permanent or live in

FREE INVESTMENT PACK HERE

Click here to find out more!

Today the baby boomers at 65

Jo Chandler January 1, 2011

They are the generation that changed the social landscape, reshaping – and at times revolutionising – how we live, work and play. Now the boomers have reached a new milestone.

”I hope I die before I get old.”
Pete Townshend, My Generation,
The Who. Age 20, 1965

THE first babies of the boomer wave – the generation who shouted loud the anthem composed for them by Townshend, cranking up the volume, thrashing their air guitars and alienating their bemused parents – turn 65 this year.

Some 200,000 of them, the 1946 crop, will hit the milestone in Australia in 2011, with another 5.4 million coming up behind to swell the senior demographic to unprecedented dimensions. Each week more than 1000 Victorians are turning 65. Whether you are inside or outside the boomer legion, brace yourselves – it may be a bumpy ride.

Most boomers will presumably be grateful not to have been granted their youthful wish for an early dispatch. If they could reprise the lyrics to reflect what surveys tell us about their mindset today, My Generation (@2011) would more likely chorus something like ”Hope I Die Before I Get Alzheimer’s”, or ”Before I Run Out of Money”, or ”Before They Put Me in a Home”. Or, characteristically, they might just stick out their chins and subvert the whole paradigm: ”Define ‘old’.”

Nonetheless, for a cohort distinguished by trenchant refusal to grow into their parents, to find themselves qualifying to collect the old age pension (the women got there last year) is a confronting moment.

What with the creaky hips, collapsed jawlines and shrinking newsprint, you’d excuse a bit of crankiness. As one author wrote in, abruptly deflecting an invitation from The Age to reflect on his imminent 65th, ”I can think of few things I would rather do less – for example, sliding down a giant razor blade.”

However reluctantly, the boomers are positioning to redefine old age, just as they have recast every other category of the demographic continuum on the push through. From the generation that invented teenage-hood, embraced the sexual revolution, fought the gender war, manufactured consumer culture, wrestled the work-life balance, fractured traditional family and rode the wave of prosperity until it crashed around their ears in the global financial crisis – now comes The New Old Age.

By the time they hit 65, most boomers have acclimatised to the shock of senior status, says social commentator Hugh Mackay. They have negotiated fraught middle age, coming to terms with the externals of gravity.

Nonetheless, many will struggle with questions of identity when they pull in the shingle of their occupation. Then there are issues of relevance, spirituality, legacy and death, together with the less existential questions of financial security and bodily decay. The last of these looms particularly large for those boomers caring for elderly parents.

At some deepest level, Mackay reckons many never imagined they would set foot on the grey landscape. Hence quite a few arrive without the stash of savings they might have wished they had, and perhaps with more baggage than they bargained. After all, ”We’re here for a good time/Not a long time”.

”That was their generational ethos,” Mackay says. ”That is why they were the inventors of instant gratification. They were absolutely impatient, voracious consumers of everything – education, travel, sex. They married young, had kids young, they went into it all with their ears pinned back.” He anticipates nothing less as they move through what was once retirement and into their senior years.

For example, in regard to work, ”what they are talking about is not retirement, but in classic boomer style, they are ‘refocusing’,” says Mackay. ”That might mean chopping back a bit at paid work, playing a bit more golf, doing a bit of volunteering, but not absolutely stopping work. That would be a sign that you are old.” Their vision is to enter a new ”airy, sunlit upland” drifting between work and play.

In this landscape they can embrace maturity, and will demand for themselves the venerable status of elder. Many of them are signalling that they will turn their energies to philanthropy and volunteerism – perhaps to make amends, perhaps to redefine themselves, perhaps even acting from altruism.

Most will cling fast to the demeanour and accoutrements of their younger selves for as long as they can. As Professor Simon Biggs – formerly head of gerontology at King’s College London, now continuing his exploration of mature identity at the University of Melbourne – has observed, many will continue to use consumerism to buy the props that declare who they are – the clothes or holidays or houses, books or music or indulgences.

But whereas in middle age this may have been invested in what Biggs called the ”masquerade of youth”, at 65, most of the 1946 babies interviewed by The Age seem more inclined to spend money and time on things that reflect their inner core, hopefully straddling youthful attitude and maturity.

To understand where the boomers will take old age requires an understanding of where they came from. Their life courses – while individually diverse – have been propelled by strong political, economic and social winds prevailing through their formative years. As children of the Cold War, they were shaped by contradictory influences, explains Mackay.

”One was the looming prospect of nuclear war, the thought that at any minute, either deliberately or accidentally, we would all be history. That co-existed with the surprise of postwar economic boom … full employment, massive explosions in manufacturing, housing, business in general.”

The baby boomers climbed aboard the economic escalator, enjoying whatever wealth and opportunity they found on the way up. As it turned out they weren’t claimed by nuclear fallout, but neither did they enjoy an entirely rosy ride – particularly those at the leading edge of the boomer wave.

”They hit this very turbulent period. The big credit squeeze of the ’70s, the massive recession of the ’80s, even more severe than the one in the ’90s. So their generation experienced the highest rate of unemployment since the Great Depression,” observes Mackay. ”They set new divorce records. ‘All you need is love’ didn’t quite turn out. They had a lot of pain.”Now they want the gain..

They were in the thick of the gender bender revolution – wonderful for many women, confronting for some, and deeply challenging for their menfolk. And in the midst of all the economic upheaval came the info-tech revolution, late enough to be a real challenge ”They have been here for a long time, and it hasn’t always been such a good time,” says Mackay. ”However, they have always seen themselves as iconoclasts and social pioneers. At every stage they have seen themselves as being younger than their parents at the same age. And brighter, fitter, better fed, better dressed, better educated, with better taste and so on.”

They will determinedly do old age better too. But it is a fraught landscape. At 65, big questions loom. How will I spend the next 20 or 30 years? Will I work? Can I afford to play? Will I lose my marbles? Where will I live? How do I engage with the world? And the question ringing loudly in the internal world of a generation for whom self-absorption and self-actualisation was not self-indulgence – who will I be when I am old?

‘THERE is a certain point in one’s life where you start to count forward to where you are probably going to die, rather than counting back to where you started your life or your career,” says gerontologist Professor Hal Kendig, head of the ageing, work, and health research unit at the University of Sydney.

That moment is now upon many boomers. In this they are not so special – their forebears met it with no more relish. But boomers have an ace up their sleeve – time. ”Old age used to be this very short period between when you stop working and when you get frail and die, especially for men,” says Kendig. Today, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures conservatively anticipate a 65-year-old man surviving into his mid-80s, and women nudging 90.

Earlier generations arguably accepted too easily negative and lower expectations for older people, Kendig says. But whereas they slipped into their cardigans and comfy chairs for a relatively brief stay in God’s waiting room, the boomers are busting through into the so-called Third Age.

Like Mackay, Kendig also looks to the boomers’ past to get a fix on their future. He tracks the nexus of their key life stages against critical moments of history – such as growing up in rising affluence and the new suburbia, and entering adulthood in a period of tumultuous social change. The identity they forged in the 1960s will now inform who they are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. But for a couple of reasons, just how that will turn out is not entirely clear.

The first caveat, says Kendig, is that the boomers are not necessarily as wayward as we think. The second is that once again the boomers are moving into a new life stage at precisely the same moment history churns violently, their retirement plans ripped apart by the GFC.

”The sharpness of that economic shock had a very frightening effect on people on the verge or retiring, and was even worse on those who had just retired,” says Kendig.

Despite all the hyperbole about boomers as carefree change agents who partied like there was no tomorrow, Kendig points out that every baby boomer was raised by a parent who came to adulthood during the Great Depression. ”They grew up with core values from parents who had to fix their socks and worry about the next meal. So we baby boomers have our stoical parents somewhere deep within ourselves.”

The GFC brought those values to the surface.

When Kendig and his colleagues surveyed 1000 boomers on the impact of the GFC last year, they found almost 40 per cent of those working were financially hit hard. As a consequence, more than 41 per cent of women, and almost 32 per cent of men, decided to postpone their retirement plans.

Between those electing to stay in paid work because of financial necessity, and those who want to work to preserve their identity and engagement in the world, the boomers are set to maintain a visible profile in the workforce. The sixtysomethings and even seventysomethings will be hanging around the office a while yet.

This is a good thing, Kendig argues – both for older individuals, and for society. The boomers are greying just as a trough in births plays out in an increasingly depleted workforce. ”That is a major change, one that has precipitated lots of reactions which get focused on baby boomers. One of them is ‘we can’t afford these guys’.”

Much of the focus of public policy discussion on the cost to government of demographic change ”in a sense blames the older population … but it’s structural, not personal”. Kendig wants to see more policy encouraging older productivity, in part as an antidote to anticipated shortages of workers.

”Employers are recognising, at a time of low levels of unemployment, that baby boomers are worth keeping. That’s a huge change – a new era in history. Australia is recognising the big bugbear for the future is not youth unemployment, it is having enough workers for everyone, including the government – so our attitudes are starting to change.”

Continuing to work will help boomers who have failed to put aside enough money for retirement to maintain their lifestyles. ”It is true that many boomers have expectations far beyond the old age pension,” says Kendig. But he dismisses perceptions that they will syphon up public resources they are not entitled to at the expense of younger generations. ”Older people care about their kids and the future and all the rest. It’s not going to happen.”

Kendig emphasises that work is not just about money, but about continuing to contribute to families, to communities, and to maintain a sense of self. He uses the allegory of a farmer who, with advancing age, downsizes to a garden, and then tends a few plants on a shelf.

”One of the fundamental questions is how one maintains, often with fierce effort, one’s ongoing core identity, regardless of how the body changes, and changes in the the way people look at you and treat you. Work for the continuing self is probably the major challenge of growing older.”

On this he is in fierce agreement with Associate Professor Peter Hunter, a geriatrician and clinical leader at Alfred Health. ”The biggest issue for doctors in terms of the ageing process is not clinical, but managing the psychosocial aspects – how people see themselves in the community.”

Hunter is not expecting to see the 1946 babies coming into his care for another 20 years – he’s still largely preoccupied with looking after their parents. In that context, he has seen enough of boomers to be worried about what is to come.

”We’ve just seen the tail end of the ‘nation builders’ generation, a very stoic group, grateful for anything they get out of the health system, out of education, out of government.”

Their children have made it clear they expect rather a lot more. The boomers are well known to their health carers as educated, demanding, and very articulate about what they do and don’t want. They are very vocal in speaking up for what they expect for their parents, which can sometimes lead to difficult conversations about treatment. ”In some situations, where treatment is futile, we have to say no to people.

But some families want everything.” He is not relishing the prospect of telling the boomers, 20 years hence, that some of the services they expect will not be available to them. But he warns that unless there is a policy decision to significantly increase health spending as a nation, that will be the reality.

Considering their physical profile as they grow older, the New Old will not be cheap or easy to care for. ”Thirty years ago, the thing that killed people in their 70s and 80s was cardiovascular disease,” says Hunter. Now they will survive to acquire a different profile of ailments.

”In the next 20 years some of the real health problems will be neurodegenerative diseases, the most important one being dementia. The risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age of 65,” says Hunter. A report by Access Economics for Alzheimer’s Australia estimates there will be 1.1 million Australians with dementia in 2050, compared with 245,000 today. Almost 25 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men aged 85 to 89 have dementia, rising to almost 50 per cent (women) and 37 per cent (men) at 95 years.

The other looming issue in healthcare is that many of today’s elderly are able to stay in their homes courtesy of informal support from extended family and volunteers. But with the fracturing of families and of the expectation that the young will care for their old, and the depletion of the ranks of people delivering services such as Meals on Wheels, the burden on state structures will increase at the same time as boomers are fighting to stay in their homes.

”A lot of baby boomers suffer under a sort of national delusion that the same benefits currently provided to their parents will be available to them in 20 years’ time,” says Dr Diana Olsberg of the University of New South Wales. ”I’m uncertain that this will be the case.

”Boomers are very proud of their independence. They certainly don’t want to be separated out into retirement communities as sort of older-people’s ghettos. They want to remain within the community.”

The area of her academic investigation is ”ageing in place – which is not necessarily that older people want to stay in the big family home, but nor do they want to be portioned off to some little bedsitting room”. Her surveys show older people hosting lots of visitors in their homes. They want room for hobbies and work. ”But there is quite a lot of acceptance of mobility and downsizing.”

Olsberg urges a shift in policy to encourage older people to downsize without the proceeds penalising their pensions, and to be able to adapt their living quarters to make them safer as they grow frail. ”If you look at the data, after they have a fall they just never recover, with huge costs to the state. If we can keep people living actively within their homes, this undoes a lot of the dire warnings on the health costs of an ageing population, which are predicated on long periods of hospital and residential care.”

DESPITE the reams of newsprint and scholarly studies devoted to exploring boomer character, their sheer number and diversity mean as a pack they defy generalities. But one of the dominant themes in the literature today is that many ageing boomers are afflicted by a sense of moral discontent, still searching for the elusive elixer which is happiness.

A survey released last month by the US Pew Research Centre underlined this thesis, painting the boomers as pretty glum. They trailed all other age cohorts in overall life satisfaction. Some 80 per cent of American boomers were unhappy with how things were going in the country, 21 per cent felt worse off than their parents at the same age, and 34 per cent figured their children would fare worse than them. (And by the way, they told the surveyors, old age begins at 72, NOT 65.)

One of the problems in gauging the mood of Australian boomers is that there is relatively little deep survey work locally, and the US and the British findings don’t necessarily fit here, says Associate Professor Elizabeth Ozanne of the University of Melbourne.

Nonetheless, the Pew findings resonate with a 2006 paper for the Australia Institute which argued that ”contrary to their image as successful and self-satisfied, many baby boomers nurse a sense of disappointment, a barely articulated sense that it was not meant to turn out this way”. The paper argued that the perception of the boomers as the ”lucky generation” was distorted by preoccupation with wealthy boomers, and obscured the starker realities of their fellow lower-income peers.

How Australian boomers might respond to angst over life, the universe and everything is still anyone’s guess, says Ozanne. ”Will they become more narcissistic and consumerist, versus having real social commitments? It could go either way one would think.”

Last year, she published a paper exploring the potential of boomers to negotiate ”a new social contract and cultural maturing in an ageing Australia”, a discussion which dug under the assumptions of who boomers are, to identify the realities of the subgroups most at risk as they age – the divorced, the lonely, the poor (who are disproportionately women), and ethnic and indigenous populations.

In the same way that some ageing experts want stronger policy on health spending and workplace reform, Ozanne would like to see a broader public conversation about ageing, one which encourages older people to rethink their social contribution. She wants to see campaigns eroding the ageism that still prevails in society. She is hoping this might in part be achieved as new pathfinders emerge – inspirational people who change the rules on ageing behaviour and become role models for engaged elder-hood.

As society adjusts to the realities of a new, mature demographic and all that entails, Simon Biggs points out that at an individual level, boomers have much to look forward to in their Third Age.

For all their youthful objections to conformity, most boomers toed the social line, escaping their families of origin only to find themselves locked into predefined roles. They married, became parents, got a job and a mortgage.

”As [psychoanalyst] Carl Jung observed,” says Simon Biggs, ” the cost of conformity in contemporary society is considerable when you look at the potential of most human beings.” Around midlife, people begin to feel constrained by their roles, but it is in later life that they might find the freedom to develop neglected parts of themselves.

There is, he says, capacity for a second-half epiphany. Again, he looks to Jung to explain the rich spiritual dimensions of later life.

”You are becoming more aware of yourself as a person, more individuated, and simultaneously aware that you are just one of the grains of sand on the beach.

”So you get a huge dose of being in perspective, as well as this notion of being more oneself.”

We all grow older but one is lucky when one acquires wisdom with age which can be a rare commodity

In terms of spirit and soul, ageing well is an act that can defy gravity.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha [Baby Boomer]

HP’s Mark Hurd gets canned and gets richer


Here at CNET, we’re still trying to figure out the life lesson in this one.

Mark Hurd, the CEO of the tech company with the largest revenues in the world is unceremoniously dumped by his board of directors because he did something with Jodie Fisher, a very attractive former actress and reality television star hired to schmooze customers at company events. We say something in italics because we have no idea what went on–Hurd settled a sexual harassment claim with Fisher and she’s not talking, which derailed the board’s investigation. We do know, thanks to months of investigation by a team of Wall Street Journal reporters, that Hurd and Fisher had dinner and watched football in restaurants and hotel rooms around the globe, but they swear they’re just friends (or were friends, most likely).

The board said it found no evidence of sexual harassment but was still peeved enough with Hurd’s behavior to force him out. He took a severance package worth up to $40 million with him. As a bonus, the HP board was portrayed as a bunch of reactionary prigs in many Silicon Valley circles.

So what happened to Hurd? Naturally, he was offered a new job as president at HP’s latest and nastiest rival, Oracle. Tech pundits figure he’ll end up running the company if bon vivant CEO Larry Ellison ever decides to retire, proving the old adage that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Hurd’s excellent, or bogus, adventure comes in at #2 on our turkey list simply because it’s galling that he so easily landed on his feet.

Photo by Stephen Shankland/CNET and Jodie Fisher

Caption by CNET News staff

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/2300-1001_3-10005691-10.html?tag=mncol#ixzz17JiaxbIZ

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha
November 24, 2010 12:48 PM PST

10. Digg: Where do we start?


It’s almost painful to write about the decline of social-news site Digg: A few years ago, founder Kevin Rose was mentioned in the same sentences as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Now, well, not so much.

The problems really started a little over two years ago, when Digg, having reportedly snubbed nine-figure buyout offers and fresh off a $28.7 million Series C funding round that CEO Jay Adelson said at the time was going to fuel a “major expansion effort,” was revealed to be losing money–lots of it. But it was in 2010 that the mess hit the fan. Its sorely-needed “Version 4” overhaul didn’t go over so well with its loyal community. There were not one, but two rounds of layoffs this year, meaning that the company is less than half the size it was when Adelson himself jumped ship in the spring.

As for Digg, it’s still alive under the auspices of new CEO Matt Williams (and founder Kevin Rose is still doing something there) , but the outlook isn’t too bright for this company with a long track of missed opportunities. There has perhaps not been a better example in years that sometimes entrepreneurs have to throw away idyllic dreams of changing the world and, to be blunt, take the money and run.

Photo by BusinessWeek

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/2300-1001_3-10005691-2.html?tag=mncol#ixzz17JVbnTaL

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha

WHAT MONEY CAN AND CANNOT DO FOR YOU

VIEW THE LINK HERE AND ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY

Chinese Proverb

Published by Henry Sapiecha

WHAT MONEY CAN AND CANNOT DO FOR YOU

VIEW THE LINK HERE AND ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY

Chinese Proverb

Published by Henry Sapiecha

RAGS TO RICHES STORY

pile-cash-needs-cropping

Bio of Mike O’Hagan – Mini Movers

book3

Sponsored by the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce Qld

www.maryboroughchamberqld.com.au

For the first 10 years of Mikes work life he worked for 35 different employers. In his words “I’m a product of the many really bad, and the few good, employers I worked for”.

This background helped to influence Mike to “do it differently” in business.

His business career started with buying and selling goods as a second-hand dealer. 8 years later the entrepreneur in Mike surfaced when he launched a short distance furniture removal business. This evolved into MiniMovers. MiniMovers is today an innovative market leader, growing from an initial investment of $200 and a Ute,

www.youbeautute.com www.minimokes.com www.www-trader.com

to an annual turnover exceeding $30 million with over 450 employees. Today, Mike Chairs the Board of Directors with an experienced CEO running the Business.

Mike has recently been on various Government committees including a Small Business Advisory Panel to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is currently a Commissioner on the Australian Fair Pay Commission, charged with the responsibility of setting the minimum pay for workers in Australia. He is also on the Board of Directors, of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and the National Board of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

To keep “on the edge” he is also attending the EO/MIT Entrepreneurs Masters Program in Boston USA. He is a sought after key note speaker who shares a variety of business and thought provoking views over a range of topics. He can answer the questions while keeping you interested, inspired and empowered.

“My education at the very best school (of hard knocks) guarantees I’ll challenge many commonly held beliefs”.

Mike is a true entrepreneur and a business innovator, and you’ll find that his down-to-earth style is both compelling and contagious.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

button-mystory

Posted by Henry Sapiecha 28th Sept

flashing-bright-blue-line

RAGS TO RICHES STORY

pile-cash-needs-cropping

Bio of Mike O’Hagan – Mini Movers

book3

Sponsored by the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce Qld

www.maryboroughchamberqld.com.au

For the first 10 years of Mikes work life he worked for 35 different employers. In his words “I’m a product of the many really bad, and the few good, employers I worked for”.

This background helped to influence Mike to “do it differently” in business.

His business career started with buying and selling goods as a second-hand dealer. 8 years later the entrepreneur in Mike surfaced when he launched a short distance furniture removal business. This evolved into MiniMovers. MiniMovers is today an innovative market leader, growing from an initial investment of $200 and a Ute,

www.youbeautute.com www.minimokes.com www.www-trader.com

to an annual turnover exceeding $30 million with over 450 employees. Today, Mike Chairs the Board of Directors with an experienced CEO running the Business.

Mike has recently been on various Government committees including a Small Business Advisory Panel to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is currently a Commissioner on the Australian Fair Pay Commission, charged with the responsibility of setting the minimum pay for workers in Australia. He is also on the Board of Directors, of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and the National Board of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

To keep “on the edge” he is also attending the EO/MIT Entrepreneurs Masters Program in Boston USA. He is a sought after key note speaker who shares a variety of business and thought provoking views over a range of topics. He can answer the questions while keeping you interested, inspired and empowered.

“My education at the very best school (of hard knocks) guarantees I’ll challenge many commonly held beliefs”.

Mike is a true entrepreneur and a business innovator, and you’ll find that his down-to-earth style is both compelling and contagious.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

button-mystory

Posted by Henry Sapiecha 28th Sept

flashing-bright-blue-line

The Paradoxical Commandments – To live by

Commandments to live by

Commandments to live by


flashing-col-star-line
1…People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2…If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3…If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4…The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good today anyway.

5…Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6…The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7…People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8…What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9…People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10…Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

BE POSITIVE

BE POSITIVE

SOURCED BY Henry Sapiecha — ———-

Be the best person you can be. 12th March 2009

www.acbocallcentre.com

Next Page »