Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

(Self) destruction vs (self) preservation

Self destruction and self preservation have an intriguing relationship, at least to me. I noticed several articles on this topic (eg, Forbes, Good Therapy) and even a scientific study.

In order to define this topic, I made a diagram. This diagram outlines 4 possible scenarios for (self) destruction and (self) preservation.

According to Good Therapy, self destruction and self preservation indeed go together: “Self-destructive behavior is not necessarily intended to be self-destructive; ordinarily, people engage in such behaviors in an effort to help, protect, or heal themselves.

Unfortunately, the same methods intended for benefit can also cause harm.”

The 1st box has a link with the 7 Belief systems. The Greater Good (or Utilitarianism) is an extreme philosophy that it’s okay to sacrifice some/many people in order to save an even greater number of people (eg, the deliberate downing of a passenger airplane before it can destroy a city).

The 2nd box gives an uncanny list of applicants. The best example of this 2nd box is the TV series House of Cards (IMDb 2013, IMDb 1990).

The 3rd box appears to have very different examples (ie, hero, martyr, suicide). The name that we give to this person is entirely in the eye of the beholder.

The 4th box may even suggest that a burn-out or depression is not a sickness but an involuntary therapy invoked by the body, mind and soul. This perspective is brand new to me. The more I think of this perspective, the more it rings “true” to me.

When I approach my 18 month burn-out / depression from the left angle (ie, destruction) then I remain afraid of it. Sometimes it came close to the 3rd box. It still feels like a cloud following me. When I approach my burn-out/depression from the top angle (ie, preservation) then it’s one of the best things that happened to me. A new and better me has emerged from my ashes.

This blog reaches out to people in a similar situation. Self-destruction and self-preservation are like Fear and Hope. As François de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) once said: “Hope and fear are inseparable. There is no hope without fear, nor any fear without hope. We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears.” Save yourself. There is always Hope.

Save Me (1976) by Joan Armatrading – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


Caught up in a whirling motion 

Such a strange sensation 

The currents uncertain 

Like sails of a mill 

I spin 

Like wheels I move in a circle 

While you stand on the bank 

Immune or evasive 

Throw me a lifeline 

Save me…

For a friend who should reach out to me but is (still) unwilling


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