My cousin, Nauroz Arif, is an admirer of the Green Zone Philosophy. Since introducing it to his family a few years ago, they have regular Green Zone family meetings which they start with a discussion about our weekly Blog. His sons have grown older and developed a keen interest in philosophy and psychology, art and literature, so they want my opinion about Nihilism. Therefore, this Blog is dedicated to Nauroz and his wife, Nighat and their sons, Sarosh, Aazar and Rumi.

Nihilism is a philosophy that became popular in the last couple of centuries. A number of philosophers including Soren Kierkegaard, Frederick Nietzsche and Jean Paul Sartre played a significant role in the development of this philosophy. These philosophers challenged different religious traditions and declared, life is meaningless. I found it quite interesting that some existentialists believed that life is meaningless but not worthless.

            In my clinical practice, I have met many men and women who suffered from existential depression as they believed their life was meaningless. Through therapy, many were helped to discover their own unique meaning in life. I encourage them to read one of my essays titled, Creating a Meaningful Life, which is this week’s Blog. I hope Nauroz and his family find my essay thought provoking and meaningful.

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It is always so wonderful to meet people who are kind and caring. Being compassionate is one of the best qualities any human being can have. Some people care for their own family or community, while there are others who care for the whole humanity. If caring is noble, whether it is for one’s family or community or the whole humanity, then how can someone care too much?

In my clinical practice I have met so many men and women who suffer because they care too much. Some worry a lot about their family. Others become preoccupied with the sick and the disabled in their community. While there are still others who ruminate about all those who are the victims of violence and war. When they see violent crimes on television, they experience sleepless nights, as they cannot get those images out of their minds.

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What is the difference between SELF-ESTEEM and ‘OTHER-ESTEEM’?

The more I worked with people who struggled with emotional and relationship problems the more I became aware of the close relationship between self-esteem and mental health.

Over the years I have gradually developed the concept of other-esteem that is intimately connected with self-esteem. In my opinion, self-esteem is that part of esteem that a person creates himself or herself. On the other hand, other-esteem is that esteem that depends on others.

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If after learning to find Green Zone time in the day, people want to further pursue the Green Zone Philosophy and create a Green Zone Lifestyle, we suggest that they follow three roads.

The first road is of Creating which they follow by developing their Creative Self and create things that they enjoy.

The second road is of Sharing. After they have developed their creations, we ask them to share their creations with others,  a circle of friends, that we call the Family of the Heart. In that process, they make new friends and develop meaningful relationships with those people who have similar interests, passions and dreams. For us, it is a circle of honest and sincere friends that we meet on a regular basis and share our passions and dreams.

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