Childhood Conditioning

Often when presented with the idea that an adult is a product of their childhood someone will raise their hand and proclaim that they had an abusive or neglected childhood and they turned out just fine. It is said that there are always three truths, your truth, the truth of others and the truth. This axiom implies that these three truths are rarely the same if ever.

When it is convenient we blame the ideals and behavior of adults on their parents or even their primary school teachers or the influences of society. Students in colleges and universities all over America have been thinking and behaving in ways mature adults tend to find ridicules, traitorous, and ignorant and rightly so. But when it comes to the question of why these young adults are behaving in ways that are completely alien to the traditions of the American experiment and perhaps what we believe to be rational we point our fingers at the usual suspects namely teachers, media, and parents. This is because we understand that adults are generally the products of their childhood environment.

It is fair to say that for some it is possible to rise above their childhood conditioning but for those that do this never really happens in a void. Somewhere along the road to adult someone or some event was influential enough on that person to alter their conditioning. Conditioning itself occurs when a subject is offered a limited amount of input and therefore has no other base of knowledge other than the information they have been exposed to. If all of a students teachers for example, believe a certain way it is unlikely that the student will believe in the opposite. Most take to conditioning extremely well, ask any boot camp instructor.

The point here is that when judging the behavior and actions of another justly, one must take into consideration what that person was exposed to as a child. Even when someone does something most of us would consider bad and even though to us their behavior might identify them as bad people. People who are truly bad behave in a way they know for a fact is bad but for someone who behaves in a way they have been conditioned to behave that doesn’t necessarily make that person a bad person.

Take progressive liberals for example. It is easy to view them as bad people. Many of the things they believe in at least at present tend to end horribly like socialism, communism and political correctness.This doesn’t make them bad people in fact they generally have the best of intentions and mean well. They are driven by their conditioning, compassion and emotions rather than analysis. It also doesn’t mean they will be progressive liberals their entire lives. The fact that conservatives tend to be older and more experienced and progressive liberals tend to be young with limited experience suggests that these people are capable of rehabilitation.

Now some will make the claim that this is so much psycho babble because they pick and choose which childhood conditioning is acceptable to them based on their own condition. Often because they have failed to identify what aspects of their own childhood have effected the way they think and behave themselves. Have you ever met someone you thought was a bit out there or abusive or just plain odd that actually knew these things about themselves? If you have you’ve met a rare bird because just about everyone believes they are normal or just fine even when they are bat-shit crazy.

One of the first things you must learn if you ever want to succeed in a sales position is that not everyone thinks like you do in fact the longer you are in sales the more you realize that very few people think like you do. We must therefore make certain concessions for people based on how they became who they are today. Do we really want to send a 13 year old child to prison for life because they were convicted of murder? We just might. But to get to that conclusion we have to take that child’s conditioning into consideration before we come to that conclusion and we should do so with adults as well for the very same reason. This is why many believe that mandatory sentencing is unjust because it is for many.

To deny that people are a product of their environment and especially their childhood is little more than a convenient way of unjustly judging someone to make us feel good about ourselves because we all want to believe that given the same conditioning we would behave or think exactly the way we behave and think right now.

 

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