Friday, January 25, 2013

You can't stop the world and get off.

My mentor in psychology used to say there are only two types of people in the world, watchdogs and bird dogs. The watchdogs bark at everything new and not within their narrow experience. The bird dogs are rarer, and when you send one of them out to retrieve something, you can never be sure what they will bring back.

He was half right. There are two more types.

I had a vision today of Boehner arriving at his mythical pearly gates. The tired old sage at the gates asks him what he was done in life. He begins telling him how he prevented a president from doing anything for 4 years and the old sage interrupts him and asks again what he has done. This goes on for a while and finally the sage says, "Yes, but WHAT have you DONE?" Boehner finally breaks down crying and screaming, "I don't understand the question."

And that is the pity of the situation....he would never understand the question.

You see the other two types of people are doers and preventers. Yes, that is a new word I made up.
Preventers are easy to find. Their normal domicile is within gated communities where they get to have 14 shrubs, two trees, grass exactly 2 inches high, and a house of the allowed color. Their goal in life is to prevent anything from changing or not fitting into their perception of how it should be. Their perception is shaped by what they are told by some authority figure like a politician, preacher, the TV or real estate agent. Preventers have a rule book about 10 times larger than the Encyclopedia Britannica but all the rules boil down to one, don't change anything. If it doesn't work, don't change it because it is comfortable, sort of like the person who after 10 years of listening to the kitchen sink drip every night finally changes the washer and now they can't sleep. There is no evidence, even death, that can stop a Preventer.
In a drought with severe water restrictions making it impossible to keep a lawn green, they will fine their fellow Preventers because the grass is dying even though it is totally out of their control and their fellow Preventers will actually pay the fines without question, blaming themselves for the lack of water. After the Hurricane Sandy hit NJ, homeowners that the local government refused to allow to return home were fined for not being able to demolish their homes they couldn't get to...Yes, Preventers often redefine insanity and they totally accept the absurd to keep things in their mind the way they were. The hurricane didn't happen. The homes weren't destroyed because the Government refused to shore up the levies. It just didn't happen. They are the three monkeys in one body with a new twist: see nothing, hear nothing, speak volumes....
That is the catch: the way they were not the way they are. Preventers live in their conception of the past which may have no basis in reality. Everything and every person is fitted into what they perceive as their past experience. Unfortunately, their perception of a past experience may vary widely from reality. They are very good at rewriting history and actually believing what they wrote is real.

Doers on the other hand have one simple way of life. They see a problem and they start working on fixing it. Then they attempt to find a way to prevent future problems of that kind from occurring by improving the existing things. Doers are artists, dreamers and creative people that embrace change and are curious about the future.

Preventers do not want to think about a future except one in which everyone else is in chaos and they are safe in their little world of the manufactured past where nothing has changed. It serves those others right for changing things. They deserve to suffer. Preventers think they will survive when history proves they are the first to perish...but they rewrote that part.
Preventers are easily manipulated by anyone who appeals to one of their perceived rules. They are single issue voters without the ability to look at where the entire platform is taking them because that would require looking at the future and the future is scary.
Someone says the government should be fiscally responsible and they think, I pay my bills and budget my money, the government should do the same thing and jump right on board with people who run up the biggest bills on credit in the history of our government. They never look at the history (because they rewrite it match their perception) in a situation.
Preventers are stuck in the now with a rule book and no sense of what could be. Rather than perception they embrace repetition. If it was good enough for my parents, it's good enough for me and I will vote and live that label.

Doers are curious about what something is and will spend time and go to great lengths to investigate something in order to understand it.

In their fear and just plain laziness, Preventers label everything: end of story. The bad news is they actually trust these labels will prove to be true.

So what happens when through no fault of their own, a Preventer is dragged into reality? They will do anything,  destroy anything, kill anyone, and even self destruct to avoid facing a world that doesn't match the world view they have created.

A Doer simply adapts.

So the question you need to entertain today is, if you recognize yourself as a Preventer what are you going to do about it. The world is changing so rapidly you will have to face a place that resembles nothing you are used to and an arsenal of assault weapon and 3 years of dehydrated chemicals labeled food isn't going to stop anything. When you crawl out of the hole, the world will have changed.

You see, change in inevitable. Atrophy is death.

You can't stop the world and get off.

You really are in the minority.