The farmer's kind neighbours came to visit him and expressed their sadness that the farmer didn't have the horse to help with his farm work. This is how the Clot feels, but it's not how the Clot acts. Instead, embracing the victim role, Clots corner those few remaining allies who can tolerate their behavior. They deliver criticism and blame, the message being I'm hurt, someone caused it, and that must be you. Taking out this supposedly justified anger on the people the Clot is convinced caused it can become an obsessive pursuit. Anxiety and hurt evolve into compulsive activities as they bypass awareness altogether. It's worth noting, though, that these behaviors may not be as overt as a direct onslaught of criticism and blame. Let's go back to the concert story. Why was it so hard to let our friend know that they hurt us by inviting Peggy instead of us? We all need some kind of evidence, usually from our childhood development, that it's safe to express uncomfortable feelings. The Clot already believes people are going to hurt them. Do your homework. Log your time. Develop your understanding. Learn from the right leaders. Take it seriously. Then get after it. If ever there was a moment to make sure our internal convictions were living loud and proud on the outside, it is in advocacy. Our sincere concern is useless lying dormant inside our minds. Here is where the rubber can leave the road, because compassion work takes time, energy, and sometimes courage.

It is fashionable to be an Internet Advocate where Woke Words generate a lot of buzz without the grind of any actual work. Dantas can only speculate--and two options seemed likely: First, the molecular fragments discovered by Dantas and his team may perform natural functions in the Yanomami bacteria. That they also defend against modern advanced antibiotics designed in distant laboratories is simply serendipitous. 9 However, there is also a second possibility, and it was cause for Dantas's optimism and that of many of his colleagues. Maybe these so-called synthetic antibiotics are not synthetic at all. Maybe what scientists started making in the lab are compounds that nature has been making all along. Perhaps there is a chance that these synthetic molecules are being made naturally by some environmental bacteria in the Amazon. And these compounds, which are a part of the immediate environment, are reaching the tribes and selecting for resistance in the microbiome of the local people. This may mean there is a vast untapped reservoir of new drugs and chemicals present in various microbiomes around the world. Scientists and microbiologists have believed for decades that the soil may hold an infinite reservoir of bacteria that are able to produce potent antibiotics. For example, taking credit when possible (often called the self- serving bias in social psychology), associating with others who like or treat one wel , and presenting one's best qualities to the world are common ways of maintaining a positive sense of self and self- esteem in this way. Finally, people may use favorable construals about themselves as individuals to maintain a positive sense of self. As might be expected, there are many ways to construe or construct a positive sense of self as wel . For example, we see them in such things as the ceiling effect (which describes how people tend to rate themselves more highly on a desirable attribute than they actually merit) and the tendency most people have to believe that they are above average as a student or worker when compared to others. Being an optimist and believing that the future will be better might be examples of what some psychologists call positive il usions, some of which make life more bearable in this way as well. The careful reader will notice how nicely these basic motivating forces fit with the four types of self- esteem. For example, those with high self- esteem have been found to use self- affirming reflections (It was meant to be), positivity embracement (I can do things), and favorable construals (I'm above average) more than do others. As one might expect, people with low self- esteem tend to employ defensive mechanisms (denial and blame) most often because they strengthen one's shield during times of stress or disappointment. Interestingly, however, people with defensive self- esteem, such as narcissists, seem to favor positivity enhancement (I could do that if I really wanted), favorable construal (I'm special), and defensive (denial and blame) ways of maintaining the self, but not self- affirming responses.

The latter characteristic may reflect the difference between feeling one has earned positive feelings about oneself and simply feeling entitled to them. They asked him, Oh dear, you poor thing, what are you going to do around the farm without your horse to help? The farmer replied calmly, Well, let's just see how things turn out. Sometime later, the horse came back to the farm of its own accord. It was now healthy and strong after wandering the hills and eating all the fresh wild grasses. Ten new healthy younger horses also followed the older horse back into the stables. The neighbours excitedly gathered at the farm when they heard that the horse had returned. Congratulations old farmer, you must be thrilled! Now you have all these horses that can work around the farm! Once again, the farmer replied calmly, Well, let's just see how things turn out. A few days later, the farmer's son was out with the new horses. So, why hand over the ammunition to do so? In the last example, our hurt feelings and resentment were acted out as forgetting to invite you to our party. The rationale we came to was that we didn't want you to know you had the power to hurt us, which is to say that you mattered to us. Instead, our behavior told you. Behavior is the language of the Clot. It tells a story of hurt, fear, and anxiety that no one literally hears because the message is rendered indecipherable by bad behavior. Whether or not we can directly identify the cause of our pain, we're pissed, and we're going to take it out on someone. The anger is a secondary, protective reaction to our more vulnerable emotions of pain and fear. As I've said, adversarial relationships often feel to Clots like righteous superiority, which come across as the stereotypical one-upmanship of a narcissist.

However, a Clot can be driven by an internal conflict between their need to be cared for and a compulsion to take care of others. To be fair, words are quite powerful when challenging systems of injustice--we need them and they matter--but we also have to put our boots on the ground. Eventually, we must champion our cause out loud in word and deed. Let's talk about that courage bit. Most advocacy challenges unjust systems, and they all have gatekeepers around their preservation. There is a power dynamic in every biased system. People do not suffer unfairly in a vacuum but at the hands of corruption, greed, prejudice, and the status quo. If someone is kept on bottom, someone else remains safely on top. These systems are confusingly defended, particularly if they have a partisan reputation. You will discover people arguing against their own best interests, or their children's best interests, because an issue is part of a bundle they've been conditioned to resist or defend. It is maddening but also daunting. The early successes in the 1940s, and the honeymoon period for drug companies in the 1950s that were discovering new antibiotics from soil samples, attest to this fact. But as the pipeline for new drugs started to dry up in the 1960s, scientists started to look elsewhere. Dantas, Dominguez-Bello, Wright, and others have shown that the hunch of early soil scientists was right. There is, indeed, reason to be optimistic. The discovery of the resistant cave bacteria and the Yanomami genes suggest that we have not yet exhausted nature's reserves. Bacteria that can become antibiotic resistant, in the absence of modern medicine, suggest that there are antibiotics out there, not yet known to us, developed and used by bacteria in their own battle for Darwinian survival. And looking for these potent chemicals is going to require ever more sophisticated techniques. Gerry Wright was excited about his big discovery. But something was bothering him.

He wondered about the arms race between bacteria. Further, it is important to note how well these patterns, findings, and related behaviors reflect the basic functions of self- esteem. For example, defensiveness and self- affirming thoughts are ways of protecting the self from stress because they ward off the psychological impact of external assaults to the self by retreating inward to find comfort in things that seem true in ways that do not disturb one's sense of stability. By contrast, seeing oneself in a positive light (favorable construals) and understanding the world as a source of positive experience of one type or another (positivity embracement) open up possibilities in terms of personal and interpersonal well- being in ways that are consistent with the enhancement function of self- esteem. The practical implications of understanding these additional psychodynamics of self- esteem are also worth appreciating, even if only momentarily. In addition to understanding the functional nature of self- esteem more completely, it might even be worth taking the time to examine which of these four mechanisms one tends to use most as an individual. In M's case, for example, it is clear that she uses several mechanisms, as most people do. However, she does tend to favor They were still rather wild and needed training so that they could be of use with the farm work. As he rode one of the wild horses, it reared up and threw him off. He fell to the ground and couldn't walk because his leg was broken. The neighbours came around and commiserated with the farmer that this was such bad luck. This is terrible for you, we are so sorry. How will you manage to do all the farm work without your son's help? The farmer thanked them for their concern but quietly said, Well, let's just see how things turn out. A week later, a terrible war broke out. All the young men were called to fight in the army.