Having spent my childhood in a private, religious school, church and family, asking questions was viewed as disrespectful and rebellious. We were groomed to follow and obey – as was fitting for children in honoring their parents, or those in authority. To challenge an adult, was an act of total defiance, even when things did not make sense or seemed wrong. We were taught what to think, not how to think.
When I left my home at 18 years old I had zero tools or resources for navigating life and making smart choices for myself. This has developed my point of view into a swift distrust for people.
I hold transparency and honesty in very high regards. Things are never cut and dry, or black and white, for me. I need to ask questions and I need more evidence to gain my own, personal understanding. As I ask questions, I take note of the response of those who are being interrogated. Are they uncomfortable or irritated by my inquiry, or are they eager to share?
Being on high alert for a red flag guides my perceptions of people and situations in a heightened way than most people. I hold the pain of having been duped. My thinking has been manipulated before, and I will be damned if someone gets the opportunity to do it again.
My bias comes in when interacting with those in positions of leadership and authority. I almost automatically think they are lying, trying to fool me, or get my allegiance for their agenda. Those who speak with charisma and have no formal education, I find myself quickly discounting them and questioning their motives. Add in religious views and judgmental beliefs and I will reject the information you are presenting in a blink of an eye.
Now that I am aware of this bias, I try to be conscious of my external emotional presentation. I try to remain neutral in the physical and it helps me to be neutral internally, until I gain more evidence. I am slower to make judgments and I listen a little better, as to not jump to a conclusion based on my feelings in the moment.
I think there will be a future generation who looks back in disappointment at how we raised our children: the home life, schooling and religious affiliations that may have prevented young people to lead confident, intelligent and productive lives.
I think there will be more focus on education and a healthy family dynamic. Where the energy that used to be spent on getting our children in sports, after school kids clubs, and entertaining them with technology, will be replaced with living on less to be more involved in our children’s lives, sitting down for meals together, and engaging in more meaningful communication with them.
I think the future generations may criticize our willingness to allow ourselves to be so easily marketed and manipulated. They may say, “How could they have been so gullible?” The charismatic leaders, persuasive jargon and fallacy-laden media may be less powerful in the future. People may be more intentional with their time, not allowing affiliations, and organizations to drive their life choices.
And while living this way is beginning to take shape in this day and time, it is difficult to break free from the ways of living and being that we have held dear, and to some degree viewed as “normal” for so long. But I believe it will become easier -and that the forming of the quality of our future will be more deliberate.