Monday, October 8, 2012

Force of Habit?

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
~Buddha The "Enlightened One"~ 

How many times have you done something simply because it is the thing you've always done?  Perhaps it's something that you've done since you were a child because your parents told you to do it (like brushing your teeth) or something you learned from a teacher or in church (if you make mistakes, you're a failure). Maybe it's a superstition that is ages old ...never walk under those ladders, don't step on cracks, and a broken mirror - well, kiss good luck goodbye for the next 7 years! And of course there are those crazy habits we pick up along the way without ever really knowing where they came from.

I've had many a discussion with family and friends about just such things.  Call me curious, but I guess I'm not the type to just "do"... I want to know why I should do something.  It probably drove my parents crazy - I'll have to ask my mom someday - but it wasn't that I was a disobedient child.  I was a logical child... and I continue to be a logical adult - most days.

I guess that's part of the reason that I get frustrated with society's hesitance to change. Sure, some things can't be changed over night, but does that mean it's not worth looking into at least getting the ball rolling.  If something isn't working, isn't making sense, isn't logical - why on earth do we continue to do it?

I think our government would benefit from some "observation and analysis", as could our education system, and on a more personal level, our day to day life.  

Maybe it's time to get rid of the two party system of government and start electing officials who are not driven by party affiliations, but simply want to do what is best for the good of the country and its citizens.  

Maybe it's time to overhaul an education system that fails to turn out educated, capable, skilled graduates because it's too (pick one) expensive, time consuming, judgmental to teach students at a pace commensurate with their individual abilities. I believe a broad range of studies and exposure to many types of subject matter is important in a young student's life, but beyond junior high, perhaps it is time (and money) better spent teaching them the more in-depth skills and or knowledge base that they need to excel in whatever field of endeavor they choose.

Maybe it's time to start looking at our own personal lives and ask ourselves why we do the things we do, make the choices we make.  I'm going to guess that many of us probably wouldn't like the answers we come up with. If you had a chance to change something that could better your life, or your child's life, or to leave a small positive mark on the world, wouldn't you do it? Or, you can continue to do things out of habit, out of apathy, out of ennui, and life will continue just as it is today... I think I'll do my part to make some small change.  What about you?

Have a blessed day!

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