23 August 2010

Do Your Thoughts Lead to Consequences?

I just recently read an article that made me shake my head with disbelief and frustration because it was nonsense. What slowed me down however was that I thought there was also an element of truth there, however it seemed misguided. After some consideration I have come to the conclusion that the article is incorrect, correct and also ill informed. How is THAT for sitting on the fence???

The article over at Person Missing is discussing the viewpoint that if people read all about muggings and attacks, that it instills a certain amount of fear in people. People end up thinking, "I hope I don't get mugged". The articles position goes on to state that the "unbiased ear" inside our heads will not hear the "don't" but will hear the "I" and "mugged" and connect these two words. It is all about the "Law of Attraction".

The thought remembered by ones subconscious is that it connects "I" and "mugged". This results in our thoughts leading to action. That is, we get mugged. This is a theory whereby if we focus on negatives, the "do nots" and "don'ts" that our subconscious only hears what we say without those words.


This is also a theory common in the 'make money' industry. Thinking "I do no want to be poor" is equal to thinking "I want to be poor". The money making experts insist we change our thoughts to "I want to be wealthy". This is a much more constructive and beneficial thought process than thinking about opposing the negatives. This simple difference is purported to be a powerful attitude and life changing way of thinking. More on this later...

From the article:
Let me give you an example. You read the newspaper. There are articles about crime and bad news and negativity all over the pages. You do not think about this and step back and say “I want love in my life”. You read it all and think “I hope I don’t ever get mugged. ”
Imagine a massive ear listening to your thoughts – an unbiased ear. The ear will not hear the word “don’t” because the ear is unbiased and does not judge – we add the judgement. The ear hears “hope” and “mugged”.
Note right here that the example given is a negative thought response... It goes on:
Over the next weeks and months you continue to read the newspapers every day, and for some reason all the articles about muggings and violent crimes catch your eye. Every time you read such an article, you think a similar thought, for example “More muggings – I wonder who is next. ” The massive ear hears “muggings” and “next”. Or you think “one of these days someone close to me will get mugged” and the massive ear hears “someone” and “me” and “mugged”.
Similar things are written about people with a poor money mentality. And it goes on:
Because your thoughts are so full of avoiding being mugged, that is all you think about. You see potential muggers around every corner and cling to your purse or keep ensuring that everything is still in your pocket. And potential muggers pick up on the waves of fear that emanate from you and get closer to you, because you reflect their reality as well.
And then one day you get mugged.
This is all used as an example of how reading the newspaper too much will lead you to eventually become a victim of crime. Your fear will become a self fulfilling prophesy. The article is implying that it is simply better to not read about these things. This is the context which made me shake my head in disbelief and frustration. This is a stupid and ill-informed response to recommend to the readers of that article. Let me explain why...

The author is implying that anyone who reads such articles will have the mental response of that presented. That is incorrect. The response the article presents is indeed a poor response. That does not mean that it is the only response. A trained response is a much better option than ignoring the threat of being mugged. Ignoring it will not make it go away.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

A trained response involves taking note of how such an attack happened. If we read about a mugging in a newspaper article, there are usually insights into how the attack happened and what the victim did wrong. The location and time of day are two common aspects that are usually included in news articles about muggings. Take note of those. If they are no surprise, it reinforces your current training. If they are new, take note and add it to your knowledge base to draw on when in those environments. Learning from these news stories, which are based off real attacks, will greatly increase the accuracy and relevancy of your awareness. By knowing how attacks happen, that knowledge can provide us with experiences to draw on and allow us to more accurately know what to look for. It sharpens our awareness and deepens our knowledge database.

Now for a moment I quickly want to touch on the money making mentality I mentioned earlier. The gurus say that if you think that you do not want to be poor, the mind only thinks of the bit about being poor. It doesn't take any notice of the don't part. Instead, a more positive thought response is to think instead, that I want to becme rich, or I want to become wealthy. The gurus say it is a more positive thought process. And my opinion on the matter is that it IS a much more positive thought process. The gurus say that process helps attract money to the more posistive people who have positive feelings about money. And I will have to take their word for that one. Certainly I think it is a better thought process than thinking I do not want to be poor.

What the hell does all of that have to do with muggings? I want to differentiate that positive thought process (as it is quite common), from the realities of muggings. The process encouraged by the article promotes instead of thinking that muggings are bad and I hope I don't get mugged (which is a bad thought response), to instead think about bringing more love into your life. The heart means well here but it is a totally fanciful and dreamy response which has no effect on reality. The alternative offered by the article is perhaps an even worse responce than a negative response. Back to the subject at hand...

There is Positive and then there is Dreamland

This article is suggesting that everyone who reads such articles responds with fear. Certainly, some do. Instead of telling the reader of the article to simply ignore such fear inducing news stories, it would be much more beneficial to show the reader some ways to improve from such knowledge, rather than imply that such terrible stories of muggings are so terrible and frightening that we should not read them. If you keep reading them, you will get mugged! Wrong wrong wrong!

It is also implying that it is somehow best to ignore the reality and to instead harness unrealistic responses and processes as a form of solution. Misguided and indeed, dangerous.

The negative response such as "I hope I don't get mugged", is indeed a poor response. Instead of telling people to think of including more love into ones life... an article would be doing its readers a much better service if it was to inform its readers of a better, more productive and effective response to a real danger, even if in the grand scheme of things, it is remote.

Such a response would be to LEARN from the news article. Think of things such as:
  • What time of day was it? Early hours of the morning, late afternoon...
  • What day of the week was it? Saturday night, tuesday morning...
  • Where was it? Home, work, carpark, street...
  • One attackers or more? This is important as well as it determines what we are to look for when observing for a threat. Is that person on the other side of the road actually with this suspicious looking cat up ahead...
  • Was the victim aware at the time or not? Many news articles contain this information if you are looking for it. Was the attacker caught by surprise? A very important component. Many victims were looking at the ground or were drunk or were arguing with the attacker...
After the details have been obtained, think of what responses by the victim would have been able to avoid or deter the attacker without it ever getting to the physical stage. Spotting an attacker before they attack and letting them know subtly that they have been seen is often enough for the attack never to be launched. An attacker desires the element of surprise. Deny them this oportunity. Avoiding lone travel at night in a carpark can also be enough to avoid many types of attacks. Leaving an area before events kick off is also an option.

Low Tech Combat has previously provided an analysis of numerous news stories from which to learn from. Some of them include:

Can you be stabbed with a knife and not know it?

Man attacked by 6 muggers

69 Year old ex wrestler fights of attackers

Look at these and other news articles as an opportunity to study some real self defence. And the best thing of all is that it is not a scenario or a role playing session. This is a real attack! Learn from it!

It is an opportunity, not a problem.

Indeed, a negative and fearful response is bad. But thinking about love will not stop an attacker. Learning from the real event and using our brains is the best form of self defence. Knowledge aims to avoid altogether any type of physical attack as we become aware of the dangerous places and times and our awareness is more tuned.

I am interested in your thoughts on the subject. Leave your opinion in the comments below.

NOTE: At the time of publishing, the linked site at the beginning of the article seems to be down.

Image by Pragmagraphr

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7 comments:

  1. WRONG!! LOVE CONQUERS ALL!!

    These are some valid observations, and an emphasis on awareness is especially relevant. Someone once said, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Well done :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Love conquers all": on what planet do you live? It's not because it sounds good and Virgil said it it's true and poets have been known to lie or exaggerate in order to make an impression (poetic license). If love indeed conquered all there would be no need for police, prisons, the army or the legal system... Or perhaps we only need to wait a few thousand years when mankind has evolved even further. Man was born an egoist and
    and when it comes down to it almost anyone will pick his own interest over someone else: that is how far love for our fellow man goes.

    At most you could say man has both the capacity for love and hate (I highly doubt there is such a thing as entirely selfless love) but there are some who are pure hate and selfishness (just as there are people that seem to be made of nothing but love, the dalai lama for example) and the only way to stop them is violence, not hug or kiss them until they cave.

    "Love conquers all": try selling that to the bloke jumping you in a dark alley... You must be very young and very naïve to say something like that. It would be nice if it were true but I'm afraid you're taking your wishes for reality.

    Zara

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Zara, I am pretty sure Elias was kidding...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Since I cannot see the person I’m interacting with I’m assuming they’re serious unless proven otherwise. If you’re not serious make it abundantly clear: either in so many words or by putting a ‘lol’ or a smiley at the end of the funny or frivolous sentence. I can’t read minds and if what I said is not applicable just ignore it.

    Zara

    PS: from the context it wasn't clear he was kidding (that's open to interpretation: you can't be sure whether he is or isn't) and there are alot of people out there who still support this ridiculous idea so it wasn't unreasonable to assume this what was meant and I have the right to offer my take on things. Freedom of speech and all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, let then the "freedom of speech" for others as well.
    I thought this post was to comment about an article and not to attack those who think differently...
    Another human characteristic: to think that the number of adherents to an idea makes that idea becomes truth (M. Gandhi).
    By the way, I agree with the idea to be alert and all these tales of "love answers", can be dangerous.
    It's just my opinion, not a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed your thoughts. There is an element who believe that thoughts alone can cause physical change. I believe that redirecting thoughts may influence behavior, but thoughts alone accomplish nothing.Action will dictate outcomes. Thinking about not being mugged will not save you if you choose to walk down a dark alley in a bad neighborhood. But if the thought influences you to avoid bad places it will have done its job, whether the thought itself was positive or negative wont matter in the least.
    RM

    ReplyDelete
  7. @anon, Agreed, some people will attack some view points in highly emotional ways and not really be open to discussing different views openly. Of course, they also have the fredom of speech as well... Thanks for the comment.

    @Rafael, true. if thoughts can change an action when it needs to be changed, especially in the safety and personal security context, then that is very good. I simply do not know how I feel for the people who continue to ignore dangerous situations because people feel they "have a right to be able to walk down a street at night and not be attacked". Foolish and stupid. Darwin at work here?

    ReplyDelete

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