Archive for March 3rd, 2012
These are some of the questions that we hear at and some of the answers we give.
23. My son has an attitude. What is an attitude, where does it come from and how do we get rid of it?
An attitude is a predisposition to behave in a certain way. We acquire our attitudes early in life and carry them forward. We can change our child’s attitudes by setting an example of the attitudes we want him to follow. If we don’t set it, he can’t follow it. We can tell him what an attitude is, and that he can choose to replace attitudes that make him unhappy with attitudes that will work better for him. For example, he can replace “I feel unloved when I don’t get my way,” with “I am a worthwhile human being whether I get my way or not. It’s only a preference. It is not a reflection on my worth as a person.” That attitude is consistent with self-respect.
24. What does ‘should’ mean?
Should is not a commandment from God. It is merely a preference. Some preferences are stronger than others. Some have negative consequences. We must use our judgment to tell us which preferences are appropriate to the reality situation and which are not. If we act out of inappropriate attitudes, we will face the consequences. It’s our choice.
25. Why shouldn’t we be proud of what we do?
We should be, provided we know the difference between legitimate pride in our positive accomplishment and vanity, or the sin of pride. The wrong kind of pride is a self-indulgent overcompensation for our feelings of inferiority. It will set us up for a fall.
26. What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom?
Intelligence is the capacity to acquire wisdom. Self-respecting people use their intelligence productively. They learn from experience. They acquire wisdom. Unself-respecting people have contempt for knowledge and wisdom from the past. They imagine that they live in the moment. They are not living; they are merely existing.
27. Why do people use their intelligence for evil purposes?
Because their intelligence exists in a context of self-contempt. Their negative behavior arises out of mistaken attitudes that are consistent with their self-contempt.
28. What is courage?
Courage is the willingness to take a risk.
29. Where does courage come from?
For discouraged people, courage never comes from anywhere. For self-respecting, encouraged people, the courage to take appropriate risks is there most of the time.
30. What’s wrong with being a Champion of the Underdog?
It implies that we know what’s best for people better than they know themselves. It is a good intention arising out of sentimental attitudes, rather than considered judgment. It is self-serving and usually counter-productive, sometimes on a grand scale. It often takes the form of rescuing an individual from the consequences of his own foolishness. Then, the individual does not learn from his negative experience. He is doomed to repeat his mistakes. He comes to expect to be rescued. He complains when rescue is not forthcoming.
31. What is cynicism?
It is failed idealism that has not yet fermented into discouragement.
32. Why do some people want their way so much?
Because they have come to define their worth as persons in terms of getting their way. As children, getting their way proved they were lovable. When they don’t get their way, they feel unloved and unlovable. Unlovable people can be abandoned at any time! Abandoned people can cease to exist! Getting their way becomes, in their minds, a matter of life and death! This threat of annihilation is very scary. It is painful. It makes them very angry. They want the object of their desire, not for itself, but to relieve the pain of their existence which arises out of their mistaken attitudes towards themselves and towards life. Since nothing in their makeup has changed, they will want their way again in the very near future.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )