Whilst we waited for the gas man to arrive, the three of us made a start on our latest homework. We began with Calvin’s stories and it seemed like a monumental task. A task made easier, however, by the support of each other. We talked it through together until such a time when I suggested a 10-minute silence in order that we could all write down our own analyses. We had started with Calvin’s work, reasoning that this would at least be straight and easier to analyse than some of the others. It took us an hour each for the first two stories, after which we moved our operation to the house.
Karaj explained that it is possible to analyse a person in one paragraph. We began with Robert’s work and Karaj told us straight away to go to the last paragraph and read that. Indeed, it was possible to glean an array of information from just those few lines and perform a comprehensive analysis. Once this had been done all that was left to do was read through the story looking for evidence of our analysis.
Together we performed quite a damning evaluation of his writing and I must admit that I struggled with the nature of the assessment. We took a break afterwards and I realised that it was because of my need to please others that I had struggled with the evaluation. I had wanted to be nice to Robert when, in reality, he had made it very difficult for me to do so. This was and is a learning point: because I have a drive to be nice to people, I am missing the opportunity to offer them some really useful feedback.
We continued with a story of Ishwar’s. In keeping with the man himself, the story was straight, uncomplicated, unemotional with good analysis and reporting. This was a real contrast to Robert’s flowery prose which did all it could to hide his true personality.
The Sicily roadshow moved on to its next destination: Calvin’s flat to meet up with him and Ishwar. Together we set about analysing George’s stories. Again, these were very revealing. There were similarities with Robert: negativity, and a reluctance or failure to celebrate achievements. The final straw came for me when I came across a triple negative in his text. It had been a long day and the analysis work had taken its toll. I was now ready for bed.
However, we pressed on with a story of Leon’s. As I read it to the others I felt more sadness. I had felt either sad or disappointed or both with Robert’s and George’s work and Sunil picked up this commonality. It’s as if they (as elders) are offering me no hope or optimism for my future. Dev extended this to my father who has also disappointed me. An excellent insight.
Leon’s story gave us further insight into his suffering and, most poignantly, it indicated that he does not have faith in Karaj. We were all struck by a particular sentence which implied that although he was looking for just the kind of support which Karaj can offer, he did not find it. Furthermore, he withdrew from the individual sessions with Karaj. He may well believe that nobody can help him. He is setting himself up to fail because he cannot let go and allow himself to be helped.
This finished us all off and we went our separate ways with the realisation that we will have to meet again soon because this work is more demanding than any of us first thought.