Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Way Or The Highway

Growing up in the house we did, there was no dissent.  You either did it my father's way or there was the highway.  That's how it was viewed, taught, and every discipline was appropriated based upon this fact in our family.

I mean, after all they didn't want the family secrets out.  So, if you dared stand up and say anything, they couldn't control you.  They were afraid and frightened that you would share something they didn't want shared.  If you want to know more about those secrets, check out my book.

There was absolutely no dissent, no disagreeing with the man in charge and they were right no matter what.  You could have had facts to back up what you were saying on your side, but none of mattered.  It was their way or the highway!

Now, if you brought this to their attention today, they would flatly deny that they ever did this.  They would claim I was brainwashed.  They would claim that I just got my feelings hurt.  They would claim that I was blaming them for everything and taking no ownership for any of it.

Dissent was not tolerated...

If you dared to speak out or stand up, you were labeled as an unruly child.  You were punished severely from beatings to having the entire rest of the family give you the silent treatment.  Dissent and not obeying their every command and wish was absolutely not tolerated in my family.

They might have used God or the minister to try and keep you in line.  You can sure as bet a beating was in order.  They would threaten to burn your toys or kill your cats.  Some of those threats were very real and not just threats.  They stopped at nothing to bring you into line with what they deemed was the truth.

To this day, I have very little use for group think.  Everyone seems to not be able to stand on their own two feet and so they love having others with similar group think around them.  It makes them feel more secure.

Why do we have to be the same...

I fail to understand why someone is not able to stand up and disagree.  I fail to understand why everyone has to think the same way, talk the same way, do the same things and believe the same way.  Maybe it was because of what I grew up with as a kid, but I just have no use for it.

I think we do our best when we challenge ourselves and we allow ourselves to be challenged.  It allows us to grow and learn and be more than we are.  If we're just following because that is what we are supposed to do, then are we really human?

I still struggle with this behavior that I was taught while growing up.  It shaped how I saw the world and that did not mean I saw the world in an inclusive and broad way.  It was a very narrow minded view of everything around me.  It was what brainwashed me!

Challenge yourself to not be part of the group think on whatever subject or belief it may be.  You're only holding yourself back from discovering more about that which you don't know in this moment.  Challenge yourself to let others challenge you and be okay with that.  We don't all have to sit inside the one circle in life and spout the same rhetoric.

My way or the highway thinking is brainwashing.  It is not freedom, especially for a child like myself growing up.  It held me back.  It helped me hate others without knowing them.  It helped me hide all of this stuff so deep inside of me that the secrets of my life went to the point they almost killed me.

Don't let yourself fall into the my way or the highway thinking.  If you're there, take a leap into the unknown and see what else exists!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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