In an attempt to get my apathetic overmatched personality focused on something society might deem productive I am attempting to jump start my motivation this morning by writing a Random Thoughts article. Note to my reading audience, if you are extremely religious then turn away now. Here we go.
Reading an interesting book, The Philosophical Baby, and it breaks down how babies learn about love and life. Some interesting points to ponder over your cheerios this morning:
- You can have a happy well adapted child even if you had a miserable childhood. One way to do this is teach your child about your history and the factors that led to you unhappiness. “Parents that tell a coherent story about how their early experiences led to their present state allows children to be better able to entertain counterfactuals about life. These parents understood how their own parents had behaved and could imagine ways they could act differently. These people were more likely to have secure relationships with their children.”
- Adolescence is when the shit hits the fan. The baby brain learns and absorbs and is malleable but once adolescence hits the teenage brain wires up to ignore outside information and launch their own life strategies. They are wired to place a greater emphasis on their own thinking than those of their parents for better or worse. They will head out into the word to test their survival strategies. Some will do well…others will end up as toll takers.
- Babies are considered citizens of the world. At birth they have the ability to learn any language rapidly. However, by six months of age the brain is already pairing down options and consolidating. For example, a baby born to Japanese speaking parents, by the age of 6 months, will no longer ever be able to hear the letter “r” pronounced the way English babies will hear it. Imagine that same concept applied to things like empathy, conscientiousness, sensitivity and so forth.
My neighbor rang my bell and invited me to a prayer meeting to pray for world peace. I held my tongue as best I could but thought it was extremely shortsighted of them to assume I was a religious man. We are specks on a bigger speck when compared to the entire universe. I think we all would do well to drop the notion that we are somehow chosen by (insert any deity here) to do anything. It seems to lead to more violence and killing that just about anything else.
I was facilitating a meeting in Mill Valley the other day (a very wealthy community full of elite liberals) and noticed lots and lots of beautiful green lawns (we are experiencing a drought in California and have been asked to let our lawns go brown.) During the meeting one local chided me for using a plastic bottle of water because “plastic is bad for the environment”. I told her I was saving the water to spread on all the nice green lawns in Mill Valley. She did not think this was nearly as funny as I did.
I also noticed not a single homeless person in downtown Mill Valley yet if you go to the next town over they are on every street corner. Hmmm..I am sure that’s just a coincidence.
I was asked to speak at a graduation recently. I was to follow the Mayor. The mayor gave a speech where he mostly just plugged his own greatness and tried to disguise it as a message for graduates. He started the speech with the following line. “I was recently asked to go to Harvard……” and then he went on to tell some incredibly egotistical story about his greatness. Later when I got up I opened with the following line, “What a coincidence Mr. Mayor, I was also asked to go to Harvard but I was driving a cab at the time.” This drew great laughs while simultaneously causing the Mayor’s face to turn beat red. I’m guessing the Mayor will not be soliciting my vote down the road..
Would really like to see our politicians be from the middle and lower class; we might then get some real change going.
And finally, I will leave you with this funny story. I was recently asked to speak to the widows and widowers of Silicon Valley, an amazing group of people to be sure. However the average age of the audience was 90!!! I tried to keep it light and opened with a joke that paralyzed their brains and they might still sitting there thinking about it if I hadn’t explained it to them. Here is the joke I opened with:
“What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?”