I've been reading Dinner with Mugabe by Heidi Holland, a fascinating study of power politics at its raw edge, and was struck by this quote: "The individual who inspires the politics of paranoia is often caught up in a primitive psychological defence that guards against depression, emptiness or meaninglessness." In other words, people who start campaigns demonising others are often trying to exorcise their own demons. "Ironically, the enemies from which such people most passionately distinguish themselves are those to which they are most closely bound" (page 205).
Kirsty Young asked her about the unpredicability of life, "Do you think our expectations culturally right now are at a point where we expect too much happiness?"
Dr Adshead's reply was:
"Yes. I do. I sometimes wonder whether we don't prepare enough for the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'. Or rather I think we don't understand that pain and suffering, and rage and distress, are as normal a part of life as the happiness and the joy." (Desert Island Discs 17th July) Well said! Get real. Life doesn't always go our way.