I have always been fascinated with finding out why people believe the things they do. Working as a behaviorist only made that desire to know stronger because I got to learn so much about why we do and say and believe the things we do. It amazes me even still 20 years later how a sa society we just ” assume ‘ that whatever we hear or see on television or in the paper is gospel truth. How far from the truth that really is. Actually we likely are being played most of the time we read or see something in the media, which is known as ” spin”.
However here now I am talking about things we personally have adopted as truth. For example if you have followed me for any time and read my home page about mental health and the DSM with all of its ” disorders” you know that even though that book all the doctors use to diagnose us with disorders and medicate us is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Health disorders, there is not 1 single statistic in it!
Every single ” disorder” in there was made up by a group of doctors who get together every 4-5 years and just make new ones up, then take a vote to see if it should be added or not the DSM. Its 100% theory. Not a scientific fact for any mental health disorder in there. Now that you know that, how might you feelings change when you take little Jimmy to the psychiatrist and the doctor says he has ” intermittent explosive disorder” and “anti-social personality disorder”- and writes him for an anti-psychotic drug? It happens by the thousands each day. How many parents do you think question the whole thing, or bring up the fact that they are all blind guesses anyhow? Not too many. They do not know. Unless someone like me ( who they like none too much) puts it out there for the public to see the average person just assumes that if a doctor said it is real, it must be.
Actually just the other day this older lady approached me and asked ” Do you think Bi-polar can go away? ”
I looked at her shakng my head and said ” I dont know ma’am , Im not even sure when it got here”.
I am not focusing on mental health now though. Take almost anything we do , habits or whatever, they came from somewhere. I tell the story of a young bride who was cooking up Easter dinner with her mom one year. The mom took a big knife and cut the end of the ham bone clean off. So the daughter says, ” why did you do that”? Mom looks at her funny and says ” Oh I don’t know honey that is just how we have always cooked our ham and it’s always good” ! So a few minutes later the mom cannot shake that question so she picks up the phone and calls her mom. She asks her mom why they cut the ham bone off the ham before cooking it. The grandmother says ” Oh honey how do I know it must have been part of a recipe or something”. Now both the daughter and mother are even more curious, so they decided to call the great-grandmother and ask her. They get her on the line and ask her too, ” Granny why is it for 60 years we cut the ham bone off the ham each year at Easter before cooking it?”
The great granny pauses and says ” Honey I don’t know why y’all are cutting the bone. We cut the bone because our pan was too small to hold it.
A few years ago I was approached by a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses outside of a grocery store. As dedicated as ever, they politely asked if they could share their message with me. I said sure and let them go through what they had been trained to say over at the kingdom hall. When they got near the grand finale they reminded me that the bible actually says in Revelations that only 144,000 people will be going to heaven. Next they offered me a spot, if I became a Jehovah’s Witness. So I looked at them and said, ” can you tell me what year the Jehovah’s Witness religion was founded? They glanced at each other than took a quick peek at their notes. The first guy said ” yes sir, around 1850″. I said ” Ok, but let me ask you, did all the millions and millions of people who were long gone before 1850 go to hell? Not a one was a JW.”
They had not got the training on that one so they quickly mounted the shiny bikes and headed for an easier target. The point is these guys were sincerely trying to do good and make a difference but had no clue as to why they were saying what they were saying.
This happens in our lives each day and we all fall for it at some point in our lives. When is it time we do our own research and homework? Maybe our way of thinking is kind of like the ham bone story. Or maybe we are 100% set in our beliefs on something that we truly only believe because grandpa told us.
Sometimes the issues are harmless like the ham bone, and it’s really not a big deal if we are a little off . On the other hand , some of what we profess may have consequences here on earth, or worse yet eternally. I highly recommend knowing why you believe what you believe When it’s all said and done, there are some things we will not be able to blame on granny or grandpa when we should have done the research as adults. Some things we should be very sure we know that we know that we know we have the truth. What are those things in your life?