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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Are You Passing Your Addictive Behaviors to the Next Generation?

In the past, I wrote an article about second chances.  In the article, I talked about the need to coach, guide or train people before you give them a second chance.  Otherwise, they will most likely repeat the same mistake.  They may repeat the same mistake because they may have retained the same mindset they had for the first chance.  This first chance mindset is not only possessed by the individual it is
passed on from one generation to the next.  This article will address an unintentional knowledge transfer.

If you live long enough or study history, you will notice that history repeats itself.  Many mistakes made by one generation are made by the next.  War is a solution for peace in the same way divorce is a solution for a so-called incompatible marriage.  Supposedly, war and divorce are intended to make a better life for the future.   

Many parents raise children with the hopes their offspring will have a better life than they.  They also guide them so they don’t make the same mistakes.  Yet, many children from a divorced household find themselves divorced as adults.  The same cycle occurs for poverty.  Furthermore, if you look at the USA, of the 241 years of existence as a nation, they have been involved in wars for at least 222 years.  Marriage, poverty and war are only three examples of how the pattern continues, despite our best efforts to guide the next generation to greener pastures.

How can we continue to make the same mistakes?  We are beyond second chances.  What are we unintentionally passing onto each generation?  While many may argue conspiracy, I would like to offer another perspective.

There was a time when mankind was at the mercy of nature – weather and dangerous animals.  During that time, it would have been wise to embrace the mindset that said security is scarce.  As a result, parents would have prepared their children for the dangers of life. 

To mitigate this danger, people would have begun to live in communities.  That would allow men to hunt in large groups to ensure safety from other predators.  With more people, you could also build bigger, stronger homes to protect them from weather. 

Even though these communities experienced safety, they did not delete the old mindset that said life is dangerous.  Therefore, they continued to pass on an obsolete mindset to children who never experienced the dangers of the past.  While the physical dangers have disappeared, the mindset of “security is scarce” remains today.  That mindset has become psychological.  Parents, teachers, leaders and the media consistently teach children the mindset that there is something wrong.  The patterns of those thoughts are the following: is something wrong with me, something wrong with him or her and something wrong with it, the system. 

When people engage in the “something’s wrong mindset”, they automatically protect themselves by becoming defensive or invalidate others.  Some of you may be having that reaction to this article.  In other cases, they will prove you are wrong while they are right.  The “what’s wrong mindset” leaves very little room for discourse and learning.  People would rather hold on the beliefs they inherited, as though they were addicted to them.  The outcome of defending your beliefs with a closed mind can easily turn into an argument, fight, war, divorce or abuse.  This mindset can also close one’s mind to counterintuitive possibilities.  For example, Nikola Tesla created technology that allowed everyone to receive electrical power in their homes for free.  He said energy was abundant and everywhere.  So he made towers equipped with wireless technology that could send energy to everyone.  For some reason, “free” and “abundant” have not been embraced by society.  Tesla’s free and abundant energy is seen as wrong.  Some would rather be right about their point of view and believe Tesla’s technology will destroy industries.   

If society really wants to pass on wisdom to future generations, we will have to dismantle an obsolete mindset that may have been appropriate eons ago.  In the face of teaching new and improved information, society must come to grips with the “security is scarce” paradigm that is inadvertently passed on to each generation.  In current society, we are safer than ever.  Except, we live as though everything is a threat, including “hello”.  To do an effective knowledge transfer, society will have to reverse engineer our current mindset and unlearn it.  Then and only then will we be better positioned to pass on the good stuff to future generations.    

What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know.

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