The truth about the Hungarian attitude
Are we pessimistic and negative people? Often it says that every national has own trait and everyone wears them at least a bit. But would it be true? And if it is true, Hungarian would be skeptic and hostile? Personally I noticed a million times that we are not the most helpful and the happiest people on the earth. We really like to complain and to moan all time about everything. Usually we are stuck with our problems and we don’t try to find the solution rather we want to find whose mistake is it. Obviously not every person is the same in Hungary but I think we could learn from others how we could be happier and how we could see the sunnier side of things?!
There is a really good and useful project from Philip Zimbardo about how we all can practice everyday heroism and help Hungarian society achieve the mental and attitude transformation needed to realize its full potential in the 21st century. Philip Zimbardo, one of the best known psychologists in the world and the man has come to Hungary for his next big project at Heroes Square.
The Heroes Square program is a start up program located in Hungary. This program is the first in its own category to be put into practice. Zimbardo together with Péter Halácsy, initiator and co-founder of the program and of Prezi, plan to change the whole mentality of Hungarian society. Hungarian people tend to be seen and described as pessimistic, anxious and always complaining. Referring to an example of his on the question of: Why do people do bad things? Zimbardo mentions an English saying, which is the following: a bad situation “is the result of a few bad apples in an otherwise good barrel”. He claims that in lot of cases leaders refer to this saying, in order to shake down responsibility. However, based on research, he claims that indeed in lot of situations good people who did bad things, were put in a bad situation originally and could be made capable of doing inhuman things, regardless of their values and norms. What needs to be understood here is what is in the situation that depraves the people in such a way. More important, who are the ones who create and maintain the bad situation? Indeed, people are always part of a certain social environment to which they are exposed to, such as family, friends, school or rather a judiciary, cultural and economic environment.
“In Hungary there are a lot of problems, but the biggest one is concerning the way people think. It is important, not to focus on problems by being pessimistic and skeptical but rather see opportunities, and believe in being able to change things” –says Péter Halácsy.
Based on research of Joseph Paul Forgas (born Forgács József) social psychologist and professor of Australian University of New South Wales Hungarian society shows a great tendency for eastern way of thinking in the means of closed mind-set, dependency, great need for security, distrust, democratic deficit.
Heroes Square is supposed to focus on pulling Hungarian people out of this common disinterest, insensitivity and passivity. Zimbardo and Halácsy really believe in the project and are willing to work very hard in order to carry it out. Founders of the program claim that what they want to achieve is a world, in which people dare to stand up and do something for their fellows. Heroes Square ensures a platform for individuals, civil organizations and companies who share these ideas and believe that everyday heroes are needed to inspire our surroundings. They want to inspire people to go from ordinary people to ordinary heroes, by helping each other. The goal is to make people more sensitive, for people to recognize situations which they can change and in which they can help each other in any means.
I guess all of us could learn something from this amazing and realistic program and if we could take some advice it would be extremely helpful for the whole society.
Heroes Square Program Website: