Knowledge is power. The truth will set you free. Higher education is critical for success. But, does any of that make people happier or more content? I don’t think so.
I’ve seen so many people who are completely dissociated from the world outside their immediate family and neighborhood. They don’t seem to have a care in the world. I know guys who would think they died and went to heaven if they just had a hunting rifle, a fishing pole, a boat and a lifetime supply of beer. I can relate to that. I was raised in a poor home, living eight miles from the nearest town, and we didn’t know what we didn’t have. I was delighted to have a 24” refurbished coaster bike when I was thirteen years old. I had no idea what the kids in town had. Continue reading
There are four typical ways that beliefs are installed.
• Modeled Behavior
• Vicarious Traumatization
• Direct Installation
• Personal Experience
We’ll use the example of dealing with a hot pan on the stove to help explain how these methods work.
Modeled Behavior is something that I’ve spoken about before. Children watch those around them and, with enough repeated information, they will adopt a belief about what they observed. Example: the child watches Mom put on mitts and carefully handle the hot pan over and over again, so they decide to do the same. Keep in mind – kids can learn from dysfunctional modeling as easily as good modeling.
Vicarious Traumatization happens when the child sees someone else get burned by a hot pan and sees the pain they go through. The child decides that it never wants to experience that pain and either shuns all pans or exercises great caution when it does go near a hot one. Contrary to that, many of us believe that we’re “special” and those bad consequences would never happen to us, so we choose to be cavalier about what we do.
Direct Installation takes place when the parent tells a child to be very careful when they are dealing with hot pans and the child decides to do that very thing. Direct Installation may be the most ineffective method by which people of any age decide on a course of behavior. Those of you who have had teenagers know what I’m talking about.
Personal Experience is probably the most effective way to develop beliefs about anything, particularly as we get older. If a child burns himself on a hot pan, he will be much more cautious the next time he is near one.
Whichever way our beliefs are internalized, they have become our reality and our reality may not be true. In some cases, our experience may result in broad generalizations that are incorrect.
A small boy gets bitten by a dog. It’s the only dog he’s ever met. He may now believe that all dogs bite, which isn’t true, but it’s real to him. Continue reading
As the story goes, a man who has a wife and four children under the age of eighteen sets up a transportation budget for the family. This budget will be funded to cover new purchases, travel costs, and maintenance on travel-related assets.
Since none of the children were old enough to drive at the time, Dad’s first purchase was a big family car – an SUV to be precise, to carry the brood wherever they had to go. Continue reading
This blog is not about cats, but I’ll use them as an analogy that shows how we’ve all become dangerously intolerant of people with whom we disagree.
Of course, we all know it’s reprehensible for anyone to hate cats. Only an ignorant, backwater, hillbilly bigot would hate a cat. The mere mention of cat-haters in this day and age of enlightenment, political correctness, and tolerance seems impossible. But, there you have it. There are people who hate cats.
Cats and cat lovers all over the world are offended by the notion and are passionate about ridding our society of this cat-hating blight. Even non-cat people who are sympathetic to all manner of victims of hate will take up the banner in favor of rectifying this problem. Continue reading
I pointed out in a previous blog that we, as children, observe our world and come to conclusions about what we see and hear. Over the course of time, we will all assign meaning to words and adopt beliefs about people and concepts. Whatever we come to believe is true or not true about anything would be of no consequence if we never had to socialize with anyone else. But, when we are forced to interact with other humans at a job, in a relationship or at social gatherings, we’ll inevitably find people whose beliefs and meanings differ from our own. Depending on the context, we can simply ignore our differences or we need to negotiate the differences in order to preserve the relationship. Continue reading
I heard someone say, recently, that the National Football League is an institution that should reflect our “American Values”. That sounded nice. I don’t understand why any business should have to be a model of any kind if they don’t want to be. Let the market forces reward or punish them for whatever they choose to be. That’s freedom. Now there’s an American Value, isn’t it? Aside from expecting an entity to be a model of American Values, it would be useful if we knew exactly what that means. Continue reading