Why the culture of silence?

Why the culture of silence?

What do residential schools, Hockey Canada, the foundry of Rouen-Noranda and Philip Bond have in common? These four events were thanks to the culture of silence that supported them.

The residential schools would not have been so affected, the foundry would have put so many people’s health at risk, Hockey Canada and Philip Bond would have acted this way, had it not been for the transparency of existing systems. From these secrets one way or another.

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Full awareness of a reality is linked to our interest in it. If you were a smoker and I told you there was a link between smoking and the development of cancer, you would deny the link (at least, minimize it). And this is normal. In other words, if we allow ourselves to derive some good from a situation, we can all hope that it is not too serious.

Now, the same may have happened in the blindness of the clergy, Hockey Canada, the Horn Foundry, and Mr. Bond.

What is even more interesting about these four stories is that the people in charge are not individuals without judgment, they all occupy strategic positions that require subtlety of method and reasoning. In fact, all occupy positions where decision-making power is strong and effective.

If we want such situations not to recur (or at least to be reduced), we must attack the individuals, but the motivation that pulls these people into this vile wake.

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As per the facts, everything points us towards money related motivations (conscious or partial). At that time, the Church had every advantage in increasing its “membership”, the Horn Foundry certainly had an advantage in reducing the costs associated with the treatment of hazardous materials, Hockey Canada and Mr. Public interest in their products.

Note, however, that from a psychological point of view, these motivations can be partially conscious. That is, sometimes we tend to hide the truth from ourselves so that we don’t feel guilty as a result of our choices.

So, the smoker will justify his addiction to nicotine by citing an old uncle who always smoked and died at 100 years old.

In short, it’s often easier to see what you want than to understand what you see.

As with all resources we have, it’s important to question our relationship with money. After reflection, we often realize that money and the power associated with it is an important commodity.

For many people, money is very important because it is their only source of personal worth, their identity. That is why they tend to hide the truth about wrongdoings so as not to affect their personal values.

In short, when we realize that money is our only motivator, it’s time to ask ourselves about our real needs, these unsatisfied identity needs, which cannot trump the wisdom of money.

Frankie Bernache, Ph.D.

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Frankie Bernache, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Cégep St-Jean-sur-Richelieu

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