We often kid ourselves


This article was my first that was published on RainTiger.com in November 2006 and was part of a monthly series of motivational writings that were loosely titled, ‘Forward ever’.  I’m forever grateful for that opportunity to have my work in print, even if it was ‘only’ in the online space. I remember the original motivation of this article was to have a deep look at some mistaken beliefs we often have of ourselves. I hope I succeeded though at the end of the day, that’s for you, the reader, to judge for yourself.

Many centuries ago, men thought the earth was flat. This belief kept many within the ‘safe’ boundaries of their own homeland, never discovering the riches that existed elsewhere until, well, you all know the story of Columbus.

You might think that in this informed technology age, where information is available almost at one’s fingertips, that people would be free of limiting beliefs. But many stubbornly persist from generation to generation, binding people in a limiting chain of suppression.

You might have heard of some people saying “Oh good, he’s jealous! It shows that he cares for you and loves you”. Some think feeling jealous about someone means that they love that someone. Let’s have a peek into the dictionary for awhile.

The word ‘Jealous’ is defined in Encarta® as a feeling bitter/unhappy because of another’s advantages/possessions or also as feeling suspicious about a rival’s influence, especially regarding a loved one.

Looking at these dictionary definitions, do you see anything that relates to jealousy meaning loving someone else? The Bible has arguably one of the most perfect definitions of love ever found in the written word. The first few lines say, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast.” Jealousy is a destructive, possessive emotion that does nothing to protect a loved one. Rather, it protects a person’s own self-interests.

Another false belief that permeated society is the belief that children should be seen and not heard. Countless families have stunted the growth of their children just because of this belief. What was the basis for this belief in the first place?

Can anyone really explain why children should be seen and not heard? Was this said just to help keep the kids quiet? Was this said because kids are naturally direct in their speech and their parents did not want any possible embarrassing situation to arise from their child’s speech? If so, that’s irresponsible parenting and only serves to influence the children to be rebellious and argumentative. What other outlet could there be for children seeking to express themselves emotionally and finding that they are being suppressed.

Along the same lines, children too have often nurtured a feeling that they know more than their parents. While this may be true on a superficial level, many forget that our parents have many years of experience under their belts. Many treat their parent’s experience too lightly, writing them off as the sayings of ‘old men’ and ‘old women’ with nothing to contribute.

All these beliefs are too commonly found in today’s age of information when people are supposed to be more informed about the world around them. You can make a difference by choosing not to believe them. Believing in something can be a very powerful force that can change lives and transform nations – we can now fly to many destinations around the world and drive to many places by car, because someone somewhere believed in something and made it happen.

(C) 2006 Johnathan Sia

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