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I BLAME THE PARENTS
In every case where one human being acts in a way that is deliberately detrimental to another person or themselves it is clear that they would not act that way except for the external influences that they have previously experienced.
To say that the parents are to blame is probably a good starting point. But using the blame game is a dangerous exercise in itself. But it can often be seen that the parents are a significant influence in the malfunctioning of the child. So why do parents do it? Well, I blame the parents. This goes back a long way.
If you are trying to figure out how the ecology works and you start with a plant and you investigate how it works and you discover cells and then DNA and then molecules and then sub-atomic particles eventually you realise that you will never understand the ecology by perusing this route alone.
The reason humans behave in the way that they do is because they live in a complex system and they respond to it as human beings do. Certainly in large complex societies one of the most profound influences is the society itself. It is a feedback mechanism. So ultimately what is meant by blaming the parents is that it is the collection of influences that we all exert on the other people in our community.
We are the parents. We are the vessel in which the future culture resides. We can either do what comes naturally and feels right or we can continue to comply with the restrictions and values of our culture which, to date, manages to give rise to the First World War, the Jewish holocaust, the nuclear bombs on Japan, the atrocities in central Europe, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery, racism, the mafia, and the list seems endless.
All of us are heroes. The question is will we be true to ourselves or will we bow down to the constraining influences of our culture for our own sense of security. To keep this in perspective it is worth mentioning that it is all about changing the direction of influence. No one is going to change it all. But all of us can change it a bit. When humans are functioning well, when they feel good, when they are respected and valued, they work incredibly well. There are perfectly good solutions to all the worlds problems. They are our problems and we can overcome them. But we have to act as humans to change the world. Because that is what we are.
I came across a talk by Philip Zimbardo the other day and it is a compassionate, intelligent and inspiring reflection on what makes good people evil. It is worth a look so I have embedded it here.
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