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stereotypes

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Flowers Versus Weeds. How Were You Raised? What Are You Raising?

rp_8150559597_f6b72c73b6_m.jpgIt all depends on your point of view.
The problem is that in your garden you may have been taught to see certain plants as weeds and which should be “weeded” out and others as flowers which should be cultivated.  Many people when they plant their gardens expect to get flowers but the truth is that when you plant a seed, you may get not get what you expected which is someone like you and you don’t know how to cultivate them.  How do you handle this mystery seed as a disappointment or as a wonderful new discovery  if you got what you were hoping for.  Why take it out on the plant, because you have to learn new cultivating  techniques and, for example, provide different amounts of water, different amounts of sunshine or shade, and different kinds and amounts of plant food as well as protection from different types of insect infestation.  Some require  more space than others or grow taller and block the sun getting to other plants and/or your view of them.  You can look on this as a pleasant surprise or as a serious disappointment and/or you might learn new things about growing different “plants”.

rp_300px-Drill.jpgThe famous Kennedy family had their developmentally disabled daughter unsuccessfully operated on to deal with her unconventional behavior and then institutionalized her because they couldn’t cope with her unfortunate behavior changes after surgery and her perceived inability to benefit (they thought) no longer from family life with the other children.  Could she who was seen as an unfortunate weed that needed to be changed been raised successfully (at least for her if not for them) in the in the Kennedy family compound? They felt that they couldn’t cope with her behavior and poor ability to comprehend and benefit from what was going on around her.  It was an unfortunate decision and at the time, they didn’t know that the operation would not help her, but injury her further.

Did you get what you individually needed to grow and flourish as the flower that you actually  were or were you treated unfortunately as an unwanted weed? Also what were your parents considered to be by their parents, teachers, and even peers?  Flowers or weeds? and how were they raised? you-are-exactly-who-you-are-suppose-to-beTaking account of the differences as well as the similarities is important in raising your own off spring or the children you have contact with, students, nieces and nephews,  etc. .  Consider such happenings  as a pleasant  surprise and  as a splendid way to learn new things and see life from a different point of view and not as dealing with an unwanted pest and, at best, as at least an inconvenience to have such a child and set them the child up for the rest of his or her life to be seen as a failure or to be at the least second best when compared with a sibling or or siblings who might more meet your expectations and fit your style of dealing with life itself.

You Can Get Away With It! Or Should You?

Do you ever listen in on other people’s conversations or do you ever even listen to the comments you make about others in your head! How negative are they. Why does it make us feel better to put other people down? What does it say about us if we are always putting down, criticizing, and denigrating others and ourselves? Why are we constantly bringing down our own and other people’s self-esteem? Why is gossip only juicy when it is about bad things about others.rp_291253057_150_150.jpg This can be called being defensive or self defense doing this to others or yourself before someone else can. Or is this because we are in constant competition? Can we  only get ahead by climbing on someone else’s back. Why does it seem not to make us feel good by saying something nice about somebody and/or are we afraid if we say something nice about ourselves, someone else will put us down? Do we have to hurt others before they hurt us? Is this a good form of self-defense?

Worse yet we often do this by telling lies, not the truth. Lying is a bad habit whether it’s telling white lies, black lies or lies of omission instead of commission. We have built in lie detectors that we are born with but we are taught from early on not to trust our instincts about this. How convenient this is to help enable others to tell us what to think so we really don’t know how things are when it is convenient for them to do so. For example, child molesters find this very hand a very handy way to coherse children into being victims.

No mater how convenient it is for parents to tell a child a little “white” lie how destructive can it be when other people with not so good motives in mind to be able to get away with this. For example, have you ever heard an adult tel a child an untruth just to upset them and then the adult gets a good laugh out of the child being upset because they think what the adult told them was true. Does the child have gullibility or has the child’s basic sense of trust in others been broken?

face-partsSince when has it become funny to hurt others in any way? What does doing this do to civilization? Carelessly doing this for a joke or because it is easy or convenient provides a bad example. How often in the past have we heard as children be on your best behavior when adults did not follow that example themselves. Monkey see; monkey do? How often were we told to keep this a secret if we caught an adult doing this after telling us as a child not to?  Is this a double standard?

Since when have we learned that it doesn’t pay to be honest and that telling the truth can get you in trouble? What a distorted, dishonest, ugly world we live in. In business and politics today.  It is the norm not the exception that this occurs.  It is alright if you can get away with it and if they get away with it, most assuredly they will do it again and again and again as they think that they will get away with it again and again and they usually do.

 

also liars insist that others should tel the truth as they know it wil hurt them. If you are on the wronside of the right  side, you can’t “get away” with anything but it is no problem if you are not. . Why therefore is being politically correct a one way street?  Certain people, political groups, and religions get cited for this while others do not. The former can’t get away with it while the later can! What kind of an example of justice is this for our children? No wonder they grow up mixed up with no internal standards of behavior.

Find Yourself, Not Someone Else

Find yourself; not someone else.  It may be admirable to have a child or even children who are like you and follow in your footsteps; but he or she or they may not be comfortable in your shoes.  In times past, it was important for people to have children so they could pick up where they left off.  Parents trained their children to take their place someday and to be of help to them in a labor intensive time.  Parents usually were not happy if their children did not take over for them.

Now it is more a matter of self-validation.  It confirms to the parent that he or she took the right path when the children take the same path.  Sometimes it is like the story of the ugly duckling.  Remember that one turned out to be a swan, different, but beautiful.  You can feel like the ugly duckling if you don’t fit into your family, class in school, or community.  Some children like the ugly duckling even look different from the people that they are being raised with when if they were being raised with their own genetically kind (people who would probably look like them) wouldn’t look different at all.  Down syndrome children and some biracial children are even often seen as different from their relatives.

English: Vilhelm Pedersen illustration for &qu...

English: Vilhelm Pedersen illustration for “Ugly Duckling” in public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you study genetics and how traits are passed down from parent to child, you will often find that it is a very complex problem and doesn’t always work the way it seems it should.  Children can have the same parents and have surprisingly different traits.  This is also true of apptitudes and abilities.  Add into this what happens to them from the time of conception to birth which may not be like their siblings and the children and their parents will still be related; but can be very different.  Also traits may get passed down, but not to the desired child or sex (like first born male).

Children inherit tempraments which may or may not be like that of their parents.  Sometimes oil and water do not mix.  An “easy” parent may inherit a slow to warm up child and he or she can’t understand why his or her child does not easily take to new things.

Some talents or abilities which might be very strong can not be desired or appreciated in the family or society into which a person is born.  I was born on a farm and eventually married a farmer (after doing other things) and I can understand why he sometimes does not understand why a “city” boy does not know how to do things farm boys know how to do and he has difficulty valuing what the “city” boy can do by virtue of his college education even if it was not in agriculture.

As much as I love flowers,  I don’t want them to be all alike all the time.  I like seeing new and different ones.  Also some flowers that some people call flowers around here are called weeds by other people in other places.  This might even be true of people growing marijuana when flowers appear in their plots.  (I am not recommending that  you start growing marijuana however.)

Be yourself as long as you are not deliberately hurting yourself (or others for your own gain) and when you find yourself, you will make your contribution to the world and become what YOU were or are meant to be.  I believe finding yourself is why we were meant to be as we each have our own contribution to make.  If we pay too much attention to what others tell us we should be, we may get led astray.  It may not be easy, but it often will be rewarding.  For example, how many shoes at how many shoe stores do some of us have to try before we find a shoe that fits us, feels good, and wears well.  It usually is a personal thing.  What shoe style works for one may not work for another.  Also many people, especially women, pay the price for wearing shoes that they think they should wear because they are in fashion, etc.  (Check out Oprah on this issue.)

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Don’t Pay Attention To Labels

 

"Old age (?)" - Unknown Painter from...

“Old age (?)” – Unknown Painter from the Low Countries (16th century) (Photo credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis)

Don’t pay attention to labels given you by virtue of age, sex, ethnic or cultural background.  Discern for yourself whether you fit them or not or even if you ought to consider them or not.  Labeling of seniors often can become a self -fulfilling prophecy for them.  They think, “I am over 65 so I ought to …..”  How often do they give up or let go when they reach a certain milestone.  For my girl friend’s father, it was when he reached fifty.  I heard him say that he was old when he became 50.  Now 50 is the new 30 and 70 is the new 50????

 

Las Vegas Night

Las Vegas Night (Photo credit: Photo Dean)

I don’t usually promote seeing any movies, but I am curious about LastVegas which is coming out with a lot of older, but good, actors in  it.  I believe its main theme is disproving the myths of old age promoted by society and offered to them by younger experts of their situations.  What a way to go!

 

We can transition (my word for dying) at anytime and we are lucky that it didn’t happen sooner and you know it will happen (in your case) later.  Your attitude determines your altitude.  Maybe you have been too busy to think about life and your position in it what with working and often raising a family.  You are not your career, your husband or wife, or glowing reflections of your children’s achievements.  You are you and determine to a large part who you are, what you like or need to do, and what you believe in.

deathisatransition

Stereotypes abound!  Don’t be one of them.  Of course, don’t ignore reality when it hits you in the face, make preparations for the future, but live your life now.

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