One or two of you may relate directly to this Post and conclude that it is about you. It is not!
My exposure to, and education in, psychology and psychiatry has been on a “need to know” basis, which has been dictated mainly by volunteer work in positions where such knowledge was necessary. I like to think that I know quite a bit about a very, very tiny component of those areas of expertise!
Thinking is an interesting trait which some of us do more than others, but I am constantly puzzled at the variables experienced. For example, if I can plan something and incorporate what I believe would be your perspective, why can you not go through the same thinking process?
Why do so some of us fret over the minute details of a project, while others just see a high level view and muddle through. Both approaches can have merit. These kinds of questions interest me, but the answers are outside of my knowledge range. Could those traits be driven by parental role modeling?
My parents were socially rather withdrawn, but would open their home to anybody in trouble. I can remember me asking them if a close friend of mine could stay with them until some personal issues were resolved, and they agreed without any hesitation (and had a guest for about 3-4 months). I can see what an impact that would have had on me however, I am not too sure whether they consciously tried to see the other person’s perspective. In this example, I imagine they just saw somebody in need, and was pleased to be able to assist.
I can look at a number of my traits, and attribute them to my upbringing, and some life experiences, but does that explain all of them? I really don’t think that it does because while I believe in a higher power which I call God, my parents were both anti-religion (“It’s all a load of rubbish!”) Their position on religion could perhaps be explained by the teachings of the time where there was an omnipotent and loving God. I can understand my Dad having problems with that.
He was in the Royal Navy on convoy escort duties in WWII and saw many an oil tanker explode after having been torpedoed, and watched the crew jumping into an oil covered and burning sea. They were not allowed to pick up anybody because they could not risk losing their own vessel by stopping (would be a golden opportunity for any submarine in the area). He therefore watched men jump off doomed oil tankers, knowing full well that they were either going to be burned alive and/or drown.
More recent (at least to me) Christian teachings have stressed the freedom of choice that we all have, and with that freedom of choice comes consequences and responsibilities, but I do not think that he was ever presented with that rationale.
So to those of you more learned than I in these matters, help me out a little. Why do some of us consciously consider other perspectives before we react, while some others do not? Why do some of us live a very modest lifestyle, but are prepared to share what we have, while others living a much more luxurious lifestyle have no interest in others. Why are some people happy in their 1000 sq ft homes, while others are complaining at the cost of 5000 sq ft homes?
There are so many examples of contrasting perspectives, but should we lay the blame on our upbringing? I really don’t think so simply because we all have the ability to learn. We all have the ability to change. We all make choices as we go through life but then, why do some us make choices that involve change, while others just stay with the status quo? Why do some of us see a rose bush as a flowering shrub with spikes, while others see a spikey shrub with flowers?
As noted at the beginning of this Post, I like to think that I know quite a bit about a very, very tiny component of those areas of expertise! These questions are not answered by the very, very tiny component referred to! Just thinking!