23 October 2006

The difference between stress and pressure

"There is a big difference between stress and pressure. Pressure is when you have made a speech in public, for example, and feel good about it. Stress is the feeling you never want to do that again."
(quoted by Andrew Smith from interview with Mark Johnson, Director of CEBO Corporate, In Business magazine, a supplement to the Oxford Times, October/November 2006)

Interesting use of the words ‘pressure’ and ‘stress’, analogous to that of ‘pushing’ and ‘stretching’. You could say that people wanted to save me from the ‘pressure’ of being allowed to take as many exams as possible, as young as possible, and as fast as possible, in order to expose me to the ‘stress’ of having to try to avoid being thrown out at the end of my ‘education’ without any usable qualification at all, and sent to Devil’s Island for life.

The definition of ‘stress’ quoted above is questionable. Isn’t it more the fear of being unable to avoid an intolerable situation from which you have no means of escape, and which you have no practicable way of averting?

As even this article puts it: "Mr Johnson has experience of working for big companies undergoing takeovers which can be highly stressful for people worried about their jobs."

We know that the modern ideology does not accept that any suffering or hardship arising from an unsuitable social position can be objective.

Mr Johnson is quoted as saying, of those facing the loss of their jobs, "At the end of the day, it is about responsibility and talking about the things you find difficult."

Odd use of the word ‘responsibility’. You must take ‘responsibility’ for pretending that you are not suffering from an objective deprivation, which can only be relieved by a change of circumstances. In other words you must take ‘responsibility’ for being unrealistic in the socially required way. If you are realistic, in the sense of recognising how seriously bad your position is, you are not being ‘responsible’ on social terms, and society, no doubt, will offer you ‘help’ in the form of counselling and mind-bending drugs. At the top of this article, Mr Johnson is said to have been "helping people cope with stress for 20 years." That should really be ‘helping’, in scare quotes.