Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Inhumanity never takes a holiday

Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Inhumanity never takes a holiday

by Hilary Valdez
Stripes Okinawa

Inhumanity never takes a holiday, but how do we endure man’s inhumanity? How do we face and deal with the anxieties of life? Some of us grew up believing the world is divided into right and wrong, good and bad. As children we lived in a world of should messages. Some of these childhood messages stay with us into adulthood. People have an idea about how they should be in the world and how the world should be. I attended Catholic boys high school taught by Jesuit priests…my world was right and wrong, black and white. Almost everything was a sin. I was afraid to leave the house. In reality, we’re all “C” students in life. No one is wearing the Wizard Hat of Wisdom.

Living in a constant state of daily anxiety in a fragmented world, we are in a perpetual process of changing and re-balancing ourselves: readjusting our should messages. Who we are and what we should be is constantly being challenged. A global digital environment, can block a person’s true human potential. But, affirming ourselves and fulfilling our potential and our nature, can bring fulfillment and happiness in a busy world filled with distractions.

Freedom and responsibility are challenges all of us face in a society that is constantly testing our beliefs, values, and religious convictions. Yet society’s digital venues can distort our values via behavior control and that can erode our individuality. Cell phones, electronic games, artificial intelligence, and computer technology, are gradually shaping our values and behavior.

Being aware of yourself and the consequences of your life choices means being in charge of your destiny. Knowing or discovering yourself is ongoing. Awareness of self and the world implies social responsibility and how you respond to the world around you. As we know, sometimes leadership is difficult to measure and has many components. It’s a process of self-improvement. There is only one unique you on the planet. So, what do you improve? Start with improving your self-confidence, self-pride, initiative, your sense of self-responsibility, fairness, impartiality, and sound judgment. Maintain integrity by being truthful and honest. Maintain your personal discipline and be dependable.

As a former Non-Commissioned Officer in the Marine Corps, I learned to maintain courage despite criticism and stand for what is right. Corps values were: treat others with respect, maintain good relations, be courteous, avoid offending other people, and avoid vulgar language. Then, add being unselfish and not gaining advancement at the expense of others. Exercise care and thought when dealing with others. Develop an interest in people. Be approachable especially when receiving feedback from others. Be positive. All humans have feelings - become humane when dealing with people. Grrr! Leadership is taught by example. Set the example.

Life Hint: Thought draws the line of fate.


Hilary Valdez is a retiree living in Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at or at

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