For those who follow my blog I always wonder if you guys and gals actually read my posts. But in the end, I don’t care. Why? Because I write for me, not for you all. I will give a shout out to my mother-in-law as the person who most consistently responds to my posts. My sister comes in second. So thank you to you two ladies for your contributions. Now…the sky is falling.
I am big believer in what is known as self-fulfilling prophecies. Everybody knows this in some way, shape, or form. See this .pdf for more information on teacher expectations as related to student outcomes. Additionally, within the Christian community in some circles this comes in the form of word curses or blessings. If you want something to happen for you in accordance with God’s will then you claim it in the name of Jesus. If someone says something about you that you don’t want to be true, i.e. “you must be coming down with a cold”, then you break the word curse in the name of Jesus. Self-help folks do the same thing. While reading through Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles one of the chapters is about saying what you want to happen as though it already has. For me I weigh around 210 pounds but desire to be at 185. Well, I made up this jingle like he recommends that says, “I am alive and feeling great at 178.” The idea behind this being that my sub-conscious knows I am not 178 lbs so it will start rewiring my thinking to make the jingle a reality for me – self-fulfilling prophecy.
The interesting part is that it works. Self-fulfilling prophecies come true. I am not going to attempt to answer the ‘why’ behind the prophecy, but I hope we can all agree that they do indeed come to pass.
Now let me ask you this. If self-fulfilling prophecies come to pass then what does that say about what you listen to in the media, what your preacher says in the pulpit, what your friends are thinking about all kinds of things from the economy, to ISIS/ISIL, to your children’s decisions, etc…? It tells me that if we want a different outcome than what we are experiencing then we need to change our thinking and outlook about these issues. Here are my suggestions:
Instead of saying that the Affordable Healthcare Act is going to be the demise of the American healthcare system, what if we focused our energy on soliciting a new plan from our congressional representatives? So the statement would look something like this in future conversations:
Jane: This Obamacare stuff is really tearing down the country and not all it’s cracked up to be.
Sally: You know, we should write and call our congressional representatives and senators to come up with a new plan to fix these problems.
Jane: I don’t know what good it will do.
Sally: Jane, shut your mouth and do something helpful instead of complaining all the time. Haven’t you heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy stuff that Keith posted on his blog?
Ok, so it probably won’t go like that but hopefully you see my point.
Instead of saying that the Ebola virus is going to kill off 1/2 of the world’s population and destroy America’s economy; what if we said – let me check with our local hospitals to see if they are doing anything to prepare for possible cases and what they recommend for me to do to keep my family safe. And while I am at it, I should probably talk to a couple of people on the Board of Education to see if they have a plan in place in case it shows up at a school. I mean, they do shut the schools down when the flu breaks out sometimes.
Jane: I have plywood, 180 days of food, water, guns and ammo all stored at the house for when this Ebola thing gets here. Do you want me to order you a gas mask with thermal nuclear filtration?
Sally: No, Jane, I think I will call the hospital to see what local training they are receiving to look for possible cases and find out if we need to do anything to prevent us from getting it in case it gets here.
Sally: Jane, I don’t think I want to be your friend anymore. All you do is talk about the worst case scenarios. It is okay to prepare, but you are borderline paranoid delusional and not really contributing to the betterment of society. Please lose my number.
So here is what I want you to pull away from this blog. If you are finding yourself afraid of everything going on then stop being afraid. Take your fears and look at how you can help take things in a new direction by being proactive and positive. If you don’t like the state of the economy then stop blaming everyone else and see what you can do to make it better (get out of debt, spend wisely, use a budget, help someone in need when you are able, and elect representatives in your local, state, and federal governments who deserve to be there). If you don’t like the ACA healthcare stuff then start hitting up your representatives in the House and Senate to propose a new plan, but be realistic about it. The ACA is not going away unless something takes its place.
And for you Christians out there here is the bottom line: all the social issues will always be around. If you want to change the people around you then live out the gospel of grace that you were freely given and tell people about the hope that is within you. Because you cannot change anyone’s heart or mind – only the power of the cross of Jesus Christ can do that. Love God with all that you are and were created to be; and love those around you with a passion that communicates humility, respect, honor, and forgiveness – not superiority.
I’m out of here.