Dysfunctional Ideas Create Dysfunctional Lives
“As A Man Thinketh”
As a little girl I use to tell my Mom, “There was a difference between positive thinking, and sticking your head in the sand”. She thought that if she acknowledged a problem, she was saying a giving it more power. So problems weren’t discussed, and festered until they exploded.
Years later I attended a workshop given by a psychologist on why our prison system was not working…Why it was not rehabilitating prisoners. He had been part of a 15 year study on this subject, and said they discovered the following:
- Education does not rehabilitate, because if you educate a criminal, they don’t rob you with a gun anymore. They rob you with a computer.
- Getting them to express their feelings does not work either. If you get an angry criminal to express his feelings, he simply expresses more anger.
What Does Work
The psychologist went on to explain that we all have false ideas. Criminals simply have more of them. It was discovered that by changing their false (dysfunctional ideas) to functional ones, was the solution to rehabilitation. For example: Many criminals would say to him, “Everyone is doing it”. His reply was, “Depends on who you hang around. My friends aren’t doing those things.” The other psychologists were totally enthralled in what he was saying, until he held up the book, As a Man Thinketh: 21st Century Edition (The Wisdom of James Allen) “This book is exactly what I have been talking about”, said the speaker.
As a youth group leader, a 16 year old girl came to me in tears. She was pregnant, and said, “I don’t understand why God is punishing me. My motives were good. I love the boy.” I said to her, “what happens if I stick my finger in the electric socket?” She replied, “You get shocked.” “Yes”, I said, “and what happens if an innocent baby sticks their finger in an electric socket?” She replied, “It gets shocked.” I went on to explain that it was not God punishing me, the baby or her. It is simply the Law Of Cause And Effect.
Because the sixteen year old falsely believed that her good motives would protect her, she was vulnerable, and open to all kinds of tragedies. Because my Mom falsely believed that she could not acknowledge a problem, she was doomed to suffer the consequences.
In Conclusion: It is our false (dysfunctional) ideas that lead us into trouble. Refusing to talk about something negative that is happening is dysfunctional. It carries negative consequences.