Comment by Gallup's Mirror on March 6, 2014 at 5:24am

Real:

Pretend:

Comment by James Cox on March 6, 2014 at 3:39pm

Sadly I found that many people in my family could not take this 'test', and make a good showing.

My grand mother who waited the better part of 50 years for the return of our grand-father, and died without relief.

My father who seemed to think that drinking, smoking, pain pills, and diabetic medications would let him live for ever.

My brother's son, who seems to believe guns are the measure of a 'man', that bigotry will make himself respectable, that education is not needed since he 'knows' already, and that a security officer is the height of moral responsibility.

Myself, blind sided by my optimism and single mindedness.

 

Comment by Chelsey Carlson on March 7, 2014 at 11:08am

Your post got me thinking. What a person believes is reality to them and that is what can be frightening in some instances. It is difficult to see someone suffering. What works best for me is to try and put myself in their shoes. There is a reason why a person holds on to a belief. It is what they think makes them feel better. Refusing to accept that there are circumstances in life we do not like causes us to cling onto some way of feeling that life is not out of control. The fact is life is hard. We have limited information and comfort is not necessarily the best goal, especially when it comes from deceiving your mind into thinking illogically. We learn a lot from observing others. We figure out what we like and ways to improve ourselves when we see what we don't want or like in other people's experiences and can gain a lot of wisdom through that-comparison and contrast. Sometimes the best we can do is live and let live. I think it is best to wait for people to ask why you are doing well and share what you have learned. It takes a very brave person to venture out into the unknown and many people are unwilling to do that. However, seeing that you did it may provide courage to others and help them overcome their fears. As long as we are learning there can be a positive aspect gained through each experience.

Comment by James Cox on March 7, 2014 at 1:17pm
Yes, while it seems desirable to believe that we are 'masters of our own fate', sadly this can be compromised by our irrational thinking, and sometimes the effects of others.

I am at the local hospital library, their music indicating another child has been born just went off! As I was saying....;p).

While my father might have made a better showing for the control of his diabetis, it is also clear that his affiction began when medicine was still trying to understand it, and working on ways to help patients control it. He just figured that he could do what he had always done, drink, eat at whim, and shoot up with insuline as if it would 'cure' the effects of bad choices, he was just 'being a man'.

Our culture, even with the awareness of our growing effect on the planet's biosphere, has mostly only given lip service to 'change'. Our 'work ethic', while it has been a fairly 'good' mind-set for being in the world, has also created behaviors that appear to be obcessions and distructive, to both ourselves and the planet. Does our irrational 'optimism', and 'single' mindedness condemn us?
Comment by Chelsey Carlson on March 7, 2014 at 3:11pm

It is difficult for me to respond to that question. I view things from multiple perspectives and for the most part can see pros and cons in different behaviors. Depending upon the circumstance, it might be an appropriate time to be optimistic in another circumstance it may not be. Focusing on one thing at a particular time could be important and there also comes a time when it's time to shift focus to something else.

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