The human mind and its maturation within each one of us has always intrigued me. A baby is born without predispositions, fears, or prejudices and is for the most part a pretty happy camper. It does not take too long for tendencies and personality traits to become manifest. They are shepherded or inhibited by the the actions of caregivers. I am sure the same is true whether it is homo sapiens or a lion cub.
Now fast forward to that wonderful age of puberty and beyond. Away from the womb and the nest you really have to find your way in the world. You are adjudged by athletic talent, book smarts and of course social acceptance or lack thereof. The is a wide gap between BMOC’s and dweebdom and you have to find your spot on the scale.
In our youth and beyond we adopt a series of defense mechanisms. They protect our psyche and present a prism through which we view the world. We tinker and fine tune so that we now have a consistent manner of looking at our surroundings that makes us comfortable. That grows into a habit and I guess we call that personality. I hesitate only in that today’s science says that persona is inbred or determined by DNA. I can’t buy that. I can’t surrender that we have no control over it.
What I think happens is we get comfortable in a soft pair of slippers. I may discover that if I am serious or even grouchy people will give me sway. Ditto a bully. If I am happy go lucky that doesn’t play well. People will think I am a pushover and even weak when actually the exact opposite might be true. Better to be a prick and let the world beware.
Moving right along we have now set some ground rules on how to operate. What’s more is we look for people of the same ilk. A club so to speak with its own set of initiation and membership rules. Misery loves company. Do you ever get in a conversation where every one is a grump? Partly cloudy not partly sunny. Obama sucks. Cruz is a whack job. Every word, email and news channel will back up their way of thinking. Makes no sense to screw up the world with alternative thinking. I’ll just sit here and wallow in it with my buddies.
In my newfound world of doctor’s offices misery is a joy to behold. Now there are people who are really hurting. I feel for them. Then there are those who know that if you are feeling chipper you ain’t going to get the attention. Moaning and groaning are strong suits. Fire back at your spouse. Sorry honey it’s just the pain is so bad. And watch everyone circle the wagons to ease your pain. I feel better already.
Now today’s media and government world have figured this out. You will not elect me if I tell you things are fine. I ask you how many New Americas and taking back Washington can we stand? But one election cycle after another has a new vision. This is the reason we don’t resolve issues like taxes and immigration.Wait until the next election. How are you going to grab a headline steering the good ship Tranquility that just tries to make decisions?
Speaking of the press if you don’t pillory Mitch and Boehner or Hilary and Obama you can’t be worth your salt as a beacon of journalistic excellence. There is an urgency and stridency to every news item from ISIS to a lost kitten. Open the Journal and there is nothing but anti Obama. Open the Times and they roast the GOP. Day in. Day out. Even if you are died in the wool doesn’t this get tiresome after a point?
I have told you of a battle with depression I had some 25 years ago. The most telling breakthrough of all my treatment was that we can change our whole way of looking at world not by gene therapy but by making a conscious effort to change our way of thinking. I and not you or others had the ability to change my outlook on life. It was startling. I had gotten myself into that pit but by tapping into a place in my mind I could get myself out.
Every day we are hit by events whether we are six or sixty. In their basest form they are nothing more than an elapse of time. It is like a lightning bolt passing through us and discharging somewhere into the ground. The residual effect is a thing called emotion. With every event we have the ability to react positively or negatively and that tends to be constant as a normal course of action. That in turn creates a predictable form of response that might be called a habit. The devil didn’t make you do it, you did.
We all want to think liberal or conservative. We crave to find our niche.Guidelines and borders. Looking at this crazy world we live in nothing could be worse. Whether it is in government or industry or world politics we have to understand our sphere is totally new and dynamic. We have to look at each situation not as an event where we can take plan A or B off the shelf but how can I look at this from a totally different perspective.
Maybe fearing the worse shields us from disappointment. If I bitch about the weather (especially those in the Northeast) then somehow that makes it more bearable. But it also robs us of possibilities. Sure life is bummer at times but if I can surmount the negative can’t I take some sort of pride in my resilience? Boston Strong and I Survived aren’t acquiescence but triumph.
Let’s attack our problems in the world and at home as challenges. What is the most practical way to combat ISIS or pot holes? Not the old hackneyed and predictable ways but a very tough but cool mountain to climb. And when you get to the top you can say I done good rather than we should have done this or that. I participated rather than sitting on the sidelines and carping. Now that feels good.
Ted The Great
It is estimated that pot holes cause $6.4 billion in damage to our vehicles annually. A pot hole cost $30-40 to fix. Couldn’t even hazard a guess how many gazillions are out there. We have sent people to the moon and beyond. We have created incredible technologies. Don’t you think over the years we would have figured out a way to deal with these buggers?
“It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile, but it doesn’t take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face.” Clever as this may seem it actually takes an equal number to frown or smile.
There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 million radical Muslims who want Sharia law and a new Caliphate. This is the prime recruiting ground for ISIS and Al Quaeda. This requires some serious out of the box thinking. Calling them the JV is probably not the smartest thing in the world.
We generate around 50,000 thoughts per day.The vast majority of them are pure nonsense. We often dwell in the past or the future, obsessing about mistakes we might have made, battling guilt, planning ahead or worrying. We are constantly drifting into fantasy, fiction and negativity. Yes it is sad but true that 70-80% of our thoughts are negative. Doesn’t have to be that way.