Saturday, 1 December 2007

Sudan Teacher - Teddygate

Can you believe the fuss being made over the naming of a teddy-bear? This primary school teacher is going to jail in Sudan, and people are calling for her execution in the streets.

Well, yes I can. You see this is not about a teddy bear. It's about beliefs. Beliefs are not real. They are like glasses that people wear to try to make sense of the world. A belief is formed by repetition of stimulus (i.e. if enough people around you talk about a magic purple rhino, you're going to start to believe it, unless you have more evidence that it is not there).

The trouble with some of these beliefs is that they are very fragile, and followers build their whole lives around them. So when someone comes along and challenges these beliefs, the believers are going to get confused and angry - particularly if that's how they earn their money. 

It's amazing how often I have seen people lose their cool, just because another person has said that they do not subscribe to their beliefs. This only proves to me that deep down, they know that these beliefs are wrong, but they cling to them for comfort and security. 

So, when someone has a go at you, and you feel your hackles rising, have a good think before opening your mouth... What belief is being challenged? Is this belief serving me well, or is it holding me back?

Be happy,


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