A change one's mindset

Posted by Al Hathaway Monday, December 7, 2015

Life has taught me that the only way to change a situation is the person in the situation has to change their mindset. I define mindset as one's mental capacity to accept one's current reality and one's willingness to change that reality. A situation is what one perceives as the reality. Unless a change is made in one's reality, I don't believe you can change a situation.

 Let's see if I can provide you with an example. I observed some homeless individuals living under cardboard boxes near an underpass. One would say, "this is a tough situation for a person to live in." The reality is the person is exposed to the changes in the weather and is unable to protect themselves from those changes. If I provided that same person with a minitrailer. The minitrailer would be placed in the same situation. Conceptually the person who was once homeless, living under a cardboard box, is now living in a minitrailer in the same place, but their mindset has changed because the person has an address-123 Minitrailer Way. Going from living under a cardboard box to living in a minitrailer would create a seachange, I believe, in the mindset of the individual. The person is in the same position, but because of a change in mindset, the person is in a new condition.

Let's apply this same logic to violence within our community. Currently, some persons preceive that the only way to respond towards another person is violently. The mindset is it is better to hurt or kill someone for something they have either done to you or to prevent them from doing something to you. The eye for an eye logic was evident in Old Testament law and society. Jesus proposed a change in one's mindset. Jesus suggests that one develop the mindset to turn the other cheek. He also suggests that one become wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Both suggests Jesus is saying to change one predisposition to violence by developing in your mind a predisposition for forgiveness. Forgiveness is the antidote to responding to either something being done to you or preventing something from being done to you violently.

I believe the current context we find ourselves in as a society requires, demands, a change in one's mindset to change the current reality we all find ourselves in.


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