Monday, July 18, 2011
A Brief Review
Nearly every day the news media present us with one or more crises, major social problems. Politicians and interest groups promise solutions. For years we have waited and for years been disappointed as the majority of Americans consistently agree in poll after poll that America is heading in the wrong direction. Issues include: obesity, poverty, healthcare costs, the environment, gasoline prices, gun control, climate change, unemployment, frivolous lawsuits, abortion, discrimination, corporate mismanagement/criminal activity, drug prices, illegal immigration, Social Security, waste and abuse at all levels of government, students cheating and not learning, etc.
I contend that these are merely symptoms of more basic problems, problematic individual behavior in five key categories that build to societal trends, trends that have negative consequences. Consequences take form directly as those issues listed above or indirectly in our inability to deal objectively and constructively with them.
Twice each week I give current examples of behaviors, usually in a single dimension to develop the habit of identifying and classifying behaviors: word, actions and decisions as opposed to feelings, attitudes and opinions. These examples are intended to show how common and widespread the weaknesses in these five dimensions really are.
From time to time I also show how the specific behavioral habits lead to one of these so-called crises. In effect, we are getting what we ask for. We should not be surprised. We are reaping the consequences of our behavior and no government program or business initiative can save us. Without changes in behavior, problems will either persist or be replaced by something even worse. On the other hand, we can choose more positive behaviors and be rewarded with more positive outcomes.
On Friday I will expand on these thoughts.