That red banner lights up: ‘Breaking News.’
We succumb and wait for the elucidation; someone has been shot, a part of a city has been taken over, a verdict has been given.
Whatever the happening, we produce a reaction. ‘Yes!’ it’s about time. ‘No!’ Not again.
Our endless mental chatter chooses OUR appropriate side of the dilemma and the chatter continues, more focused and with more vigor.
We are all ‘conditioned’ individuals. Given any similar ‘breaking news’ we react identically. Even though we (hopefully) realize our reactions may not be the best, it is if we have no choice on how we react.
A full understanding of the breaking news might be the absolute best way in which to deal with it, but the chances are that will never happen. There is a happening, and our decision is to share an identical, immediate reaction to it. One which includes no new contemporary thought, just another recitation of our old, stale views.
Are there reasons our reactions are always the same? Apathy, fear, ineptitude or your own self-conceived escape?
Of course, this severe constraint is not limited to ‘breaking news’ flashes. Once a name is given to anything we begin to ‘understand’ it – with our biases. Considering how few things there are out there to which we haven’t assigned a name, we have this conditioned pre-disposition about nearly everything. Mention, a ‘crow’ – we’ll go back in our memory and tell you if it is good or bad. Mention, a ‘quaker’ and we’ll do the same thing. Mention, a politician’s name or a political party and going back in our memory is not even needed.
Never is the other side of the coin examined, nor the environment in which the coin is located. Conditioning is also about escaping the things we don’t want to visit and avoiding contact with them. Also, the less potential danger there is for the individual, the less he or she cares for finding something better.
The more we carry on responding unthinkingly, the more fully we establish our past conditioning.