What a challenge the toxic workplace is! That’s where you find the myriad forms of dysfunctional work culture lead by the many forms of dysfunctional power bosses. These bosses are one of the following, or a combination : hateful, undermining, indifferent / absent, blaming, abusive, callous and indifferent. These traits are often accompanied by a high level of hypocrisy and a low level of self-awareness. The workplace itself is characterised by repeated loss of staff, very low morale, silent resignation and depression in staff members, and irrational bursts of apparent empathy by the bosses (usually very superficial). The question is “Am I ok with this type of workplace in our society?” It’s the same question as “Am I ok with bullying at school?”
This painting is about the cycles of mood in living within traumatic circumstance.
Someone recently complained that being in any profession that involves close emotional contact with others means “losing your faith in humanity”. I would probably say you don’t have to be in a profession for that….just being part of the human race usually suffices. Why? Probably because human beings are frail, confused, power-seeking creatures that are easily caught up conflicts and prone to trivial ego inflation. You might say that human beings traumatise others of their species, despite knowing better and despite having a moral sense that provides an intuitive warning against such behaviour. You might even say that you have been a victim.
That repository of stories we call Literature often deals with the tension between misanthropy (literally, hatred of mankind) and the love of humanity. There are too many examples of the moral narrative in our literature to list them. It’s not just in literature, it’s in History and in Philosophy too that we write about this tension in the human mind / heart / soul. So that’s what we face every day….this tension, this pain.
And yet some people are good and inspiring. Some lives are likely to rekindle faith in humanity. Some people can resist becoming cynical and misanthropic and depressed.
This is what this painting is about.