Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Combating the stereotype habit is just like any other tendency, or addiction. First you should understand how habits are constructed. Habits are just patterns followed repeatedly enough to where it’s almost second nature. It takes three characteristics to make up a habit; knowing how, knowing why, and having the drive to do so. If you can eliminate any one of these traits, you eliminate the habit.

If someone knows why people stereotype and wants to stereotype people, but doesn’t know how to stereotype, it’s not a habit.

If someone knows how to stereotype and wants to stereotype people, but doesn’t know why the do it, it’s not a habit.

If someone knows how and why they stereotype people, but they don’t want to, it’s not a habit.

I will be the first to admit that this is much more easily said than it is done. It is very hard to break people from the habit of stereotyping, just as it is for any other habit because it’s about reconditioning the mind to do something that took years to discipline itself into doing. However it is this simple and you can go about breaking the habit in different ways. You can counter any of the three with a new habit. Having to re-consider why something is done is an easy approach. Commonly, when people are exposed to new reasoning on “why”, they soon loose the drive to do something as well. The how and drive are the hard characteristics to topple, particularly the drive.

Even more, how do you break the habit of an entire nation and society? One theory that has proven effective is disaster. When 9/11 happened most people lost sight of what they saw in groups of people. Everyone lent a helping hand and pulled through the catastrophe. Most people lost sight of why and for a moment in history (until the blame game) people were united in an effort to help their fellow man and woman regardless of what they looked like. As beautiful as it was, it’s just not practical. We cannot have a catastrophe every month until the American people are conditioned. By then there simply wouldn’t be enough people to care.

In my opinion a more practicul start to the solution is attacking advertisers and the media. It sounds so rebellious but when you look at it, they play off the most stereotypes just to push what they’re offering on groups of people. Television networks like BET, Mtv, and LMN play on groups of people of race, age, and gender. Products and advertisers use ways to market toward people all the time. Is it me or is every product marketed towards African-Americans playing urban music in the background? It’s funny and holds some truth, like stereotypes, but look at how serious it is and it’s effectivness. I really hope I have shed some light on the subject and the small steps we can take toward helping the issue. It’s a shame America has so far to go in this struggle. My search for understanding on this subject is far from complete and if you feel I’m lacking in some of things I say, feel free to tell me.  Next time you have a chance, think of an ethnicity and what first comes to mind when you think of it, then talk to someone of the descent. It’s cool to see what you have in common in contrast to what you may already be conditioned to thinking.

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Need vs. Want (Part 2)

Posted: February 12, 2009 in Life
Tags: , , , , ,

The disturbing thing about “need” is that it’s blasted in our ears by society all the time. We hear advertisements saying what we “need”. Corporations, the media, even the government tell us what we need all the time. No wonder to most people work is a need, you have people in your ear 24 hours a day telling you what you need! So is it our own fault? the media? society? Honestly, all of them. We make society, people are the foundation of society and culture.

We all strive to be independent and even I’ve said many of times in the past “I’m a grown ass man”. Being independent says “I have the choice to make all the decisions in my life and I am responsible for my actions and the consequences that follow”. On the contrary, being dependent says “I do NOT have a choice in my decision making because I depend on an outside influence and I will NOT be responsible for my actions and the consequences that follow”. With that said, saying I need to work is simply saying “I do not have a choice”. Do you fall into that category of people? I know I don’t. I want to work and do work for income because I choose to.

Understanding that every decision we make in life has a consequence and benefit, or “trade off”, helps in the process of taking control of ourselves to become more effective people in life. Example: I choose to work, with all the consequences and benefits that come with, because I don’t want to live on the streets , with all the consequences and benefits that come with that. Understanding that everything has a consequence and benefit helps you see that you do everything because of choice.

Choice is one of the most powerful things instilled into mankind, its what got us as far as we are right now. Saying you don’t have a choice in anything takes away the very thing that puts you above the rest of the animal kingdom. We all have the power to “rewrite” ourselves. Just because of your past or race or peers or the way you were raised does not dictate who you are, what do in life, and the decisions you make. Question: “If a women is mistreated by her father when she was young, does she grow up to like being mistreated by her boyfriends because she links love to physicality?”. Chances are you’re saying no, and though that’s just what some do, others choose to rewrite who they are.

After reading what I want to say, I expect people to walk away with different thoughts. Some may think I’m nuts, some may think I have a point but since its not the social norm why bother, and some may want to learn how to rewrite themselves and become more effective independent people. It’s just how it goes and I don’t expect anything less. For those who want to learn, lets talk about it. I love to share open, positive, intellectual communication. For the cynics, or those shaking their heads, all I want to say to them is “every innovation began by breaking with the old way of thinking“. Now I ask one last time, do we need to work?

Now here is the challenge

See if you can eliminate the word “need” from your vocabulary for a week. It isn’t easy and you will notice how much people depend on outside influences. Something as simple as “I have to catch this bus” is saying I have no choice. You do have a choice. You just don’t want to say “I’m catching this because I don’t want to be late” which places all the responsibility on you. Take responsibility, its the first step on the path to effectiveness.

Need vs. Want (Part 1)

Posted: February 12, 2009 in Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m putting out a challenge for everyone that reads this blog! Far too many times do I have this conversation and nobody seems to get it. I bet you can’t do this!

I have come to realize through personal studies, findings, and viewing other people in my society that most (90%) people are locked into a serious cycle of dependence. It’s funny to see people strive to be independent, free, and outspoken people and then have their words contradict everything they think. It can be helped if everyone would recognize that have control over everything they do and choose.

Commonly when people hear the last sentence of my first paragraph, because of personal stratification they, often say that “yes, I do have control over my life” or “nobody can make me do anything”. Then, I get into this steady argument about the things we say to ourselves and to others in general conversation that go against what you believe.  I often ask the question “Do you make money or does money make you?”. Naturally most people respond “I make money”, which is completely fine. We all want to “make money” and have it not make us simply because we feel that something like money or other materialistic items should not have dominance over us. In fact, of all the people I have asked this question only two people have answered “money makes me”. It’s the question I follow up with that tends to spark outrage and argument between me and others.

If I then ask “With that said, do you need to work?”, what would you then say? Think about that right now. When we work we participate in an “utilitarian organization” for income and most of us join one to make a living, but is it something we need to do. I have heard many answers to this question, and these are actual responses I’ve received;

“Yes”

“Of course you do because there is lives you have to take care of.”

“I need to work to pay bills. And feed, myself, health insurance, ect. If I could hang out all day I would. If you mean do I feel useless if I’m not working, no.
You make money, but you need to work.”

“Not really… But in order to survive I will work.”

“No let money generate tons of revenue, hahahahahahahahaha”

I’ve heard all sorts of answers from different types of people from this very thought provoking question. All have something in common: work is something people need to do in order to survive. What do you think right now about answering the question? I can tell how some of you may react, maybe you’re saying “no we don’t have to work” but don’t understand why we don’t so again it becomes a thing we have to do. Maybe you haven’t even budged and said “No matter what, we all have to work”. I hope and pray that some of you out there see why we don’t need to work already.

So what happens a lot is that it boils down to “surviving”, where we work to maintain a standard of living, but the serious question is “Do we “need” to survive?”. The answer is actually “no” and to some it’s hard to swallow the concept. Living, survival, and prospering isn’t something we need, its something we “WANT”. Life itself is a want, so how is it that we “need” to work. To me and hopefully to you by the end of this blog, everything in life including life itself is a want, there is nothing that we need.