Feeling a tad esoteric today and was pondering the hows and whys that make us who we are mentally. The outside influences that shape our delicate psyches. Are we, from birth, hard wired into our attitudes, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies. Or does our upbringing, family, environment, media, help to guide the way we react to the situations life throws at us.
Each of us is slightly different deep inside. We all will react to the same situation in a unique and solely personal way. Is our reaction based on the morals or lack there of that our parents instilled in us. Perhaps we are predestined to act a certain way from the begining, and nothing really effects that outcome.
I know people who have had a terrible childhoods; bad parents, less than comfortable financial situations, not treated very well by their piers. And yet they grow up to be responsible and caring adults. While on the other hand, I have seen people who have had seemingly loving home lives, grow up to be selfish, egotistical monsters.
These thoughts scare me to death, especially when I think of having my own children. A friend of mine who recently had a child ask me how you make sure your kid doesn't turn into a jerk. I always thought that if you love them and teach them all you know, trying to instill a solid value system, that you would raise a responsible child. I'm not so sure that's true.
I guess it all goes back to what does, in fact, mold our way of thinking. My parents are incredibly loving and gave me a wonderful up bringing. My mother is the most giving person I know and my father is protective to a fault. I can see several of these traits in me, but I also know all my shortcomings. I see through a microscope all that makes me less than a good person and I don't know what lead me down the path to those ends.
There are things I think and do that upset me. I try to change these behaviors seemingly to no avail. Each day I think I might be becoming a better person, but then I think, better for who and in whose eyes. The actions I take that seem to be the right path, may in some other persons eyes be wrong.
That's where our differences come in. That's what I wonder about. How are our values created to begin with and how do we know that those values are innately good? I do believe there is rock hard written in stone right and wrong in life. Of course as humans we are entitled to choose these right and wrong scenarios, and in doing so a greater area of gray is created.
I think about whats important to me, and I see whats important to the people around me that I care about. These do not always match up. It seems like, at least in this country, that we've created a terrible place to raise children. We're all impatient, selfish people who need to be constantly entertained or at least distracted. It's easier to plop our kids in front of the TV and have it teach them the lessons we should be teaching them. It's easier to watch the tube and surf the internet than it is to interact with actual people. This absence of personal interaction, I believe, is eroding our ability to deal with humans directly one on one. We're quicker to judge, quicker to anger, and like the media we drown ourselves in, we want to just click a mouse, a video game button or the remote to deal with actual people instead of taking the time to talk or rationalize with them.
This whole moralistic conundrum has never been a more important discussion topic than now. The whole economy and unemployment problems stemmed from thousands of selfish people trying to get as much as they could for themselves without any consideration for the consequences. It drives me mad to think about these people. It's not 1 or 2 people that sent us spiraling out of control, but 1000's. It pains me to think there's that many people in our world with no values. That many people without a little voice telling them they might be doing the wrong thing. Their selfish actions have cost 2 million people's, in our country alone, job.
I guess I just wish we weren't so selfish, me included. I have a theory that if people were just 2% more polite, that the world would change dramatically for the better. If people just calmed down, opened a door for someone, let a pregnant woman have their seat, didn't get pissed when someone cut them off because they knew that they have done the same thing before, and just smiled at another person the world might heal a little bit.
I ain't talking drastic changes here, believe me I know we can't do that, I can't do that. I just mean being a little more understanding that everyone is basically the same. We all have problems, we all have issues, and no one is any better off than anyone else. The richest person in the world is just as unhappy as the poorest. That's what ties us all together.
OK, no point here, just rambling on this fine Friday morning. Hug someone today. DO IT!