It’s been a while since I’ve spoken with the man I consider to be the wisest in the world. As usual, he filled my ears with his perspective about life and people. Today his concern was about a built-in trap that is part of the human paradigm. He said this trap is one that blinds people and makes them believe in problems that don’texist. It may be the source for all that has gone wrong with mankind.
He started with the following: When people assess life, they take a point of view that is in their best interest. One problem with that is people are overly concerned about their safety. For example, if a man says hello to a woman walking down the street, she may respond with a defensive attitude. Her concerns are about her physical and emotional well-being. However, all the man did was say: “hello. How are you?”
The details of this woman’s thoughts are irrelevant. What’s important is where she is coming from when she has her thoughts. The place from where she comes is: 1. What’s wrong with me? 2. What’s wrong with him or her? 3. What’s wrong with it – the system? When any of those three thoughts dominate a person’s mind, the individual can no longer see what is actually occurring in front of them. They are only concerned with what’s wrong. In other words, they are blinded by fear. By focusing on what’s wrong, they believe they will most effectively protect themselves from physical or emotional threats.
The irony is she will be looking for something wrong in a man who could be the man of her dreams. Or he could have the next business opportunity.
From childhood, we are taught the dangers of speaking with strangers. As adults, we never grow out of that fearful mindset. Many people never develop the skills to know the difference between good and bad people. As a result, we put everyone into the same bucket – everyone’s bad.
In some ways, this mindset is a form of insanity. Why? 1. If you look for something wrong, you will find it, even when there’s nothing wrong. In the example above, there is nothing wrong with saying “hello”. 2. In an attempt to protect one’s self, one lashes out at people. In turn, it is one’s incessant desire to protect oneself that makes them the threat. The person from whom you are protecting yourself then believes you are the threat. Their response is no different than yours. They go down the same path of looking for what’s wrong.
As you can see, the cycle becomes self-perpetuating. No one knows where it started and no one can stop it. In fact, some believe if they can find more wrong with you than they find with themselves, they will be safe. That way they can feel comfort in the fact you are more screwed up than they are. Unfortunately, many of those people decide to marry one another.
As long as the individual continues to find something wrong with people or situations, mankind will be in conflict. And telling people to stop thinking that way is useless. Besides, if you believe you have to stop thinking that way, you will only stop because you think there is something wrong with thinking that way.
Instead, step back. Then accept you have that mindset – everyday. Second, recognize there is nothing wrong with thinking that way. It is what you were taught to do from the day you were born. Third, if that state of mind does not produce the life you want, think about the mindset that will give you what you want. Fourth, unlearn what you’ve learned. Simply being aware will not help you develop a new paradigm. You will have to distinguish all the inherited beliefs that deal with the idea of what’s wrong. Fifth, replace those old conversations with new ones. While this takes practice, it is worth the effort. Eventually you will see opportunities that were always there.
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.