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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 2. March 27, 1958

Have mediator's neurotic tendency?

Have mediator's neurotic tendency?

"Although everyone had a shadow personality, it is only a certain type of people who become mediators. They are not as a rule particularly well adjusted to European civilisation; quite a number I know show a definite tendency towards neurosis, but instead of this impeding their work on the contrary it makes their work possible and the personality is held in excellent balance as long as the mediation lasts .... The difference between the mediator and the ordinary man is that while the mediator lives in two cultures the ordinary man can only live in one.

Because of this the person with the integrated personality was not the best choice as a mediator. A well developed person in an underdeveloped community might well regard himself as a solitary island of Western sanity on a turbulent ocean of non-Western madness, and would regard the people as difficult. On the other hand the person who was looking for integration with another culture was pleased to see how different his new environment was from the detestable European model.

"If the authorities were to accept this principle they could do a lot of good," claimed Mr. Schwimmer. "It is surprising how many people are never very happy in this world, but they could make good mediators ... If a determined effort was made to bring these people together a marked improvement would be seen in the work of such Government agencies as the Department of Maori Affairs and the Maori Schools Service, and at the same time some people would find their right vocation."