The most important things don’t seem to be teachable

drugs cartoon

The most important things in life don’t seem to be teachable.

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon

I had a conversation yesterday with a coworker in which we discussed ethics and honesty. He shared a story about someone who was dishonest and then further dishonest in trying to sell stolen equipment. I don’t understand this kind of thinking. You have to live with yourself so why do something that you would have to worry about being found out? Even if you don’t get found out, there is no short-term gain that is unfair without a long-term loss. You don’t get something for nothing in life.

Thinking about this more today I came to the conclusion that some things are not teachable. You can talk about ethics, and you can give examples of honesty and being a loving and kind person but some people do not learn. Many of my blog posts are asking about ways we can be kinder and more empathic to others. It is not easy, but the rewards are always worth it.

You can point out to me that I am not rich, and that I am not someone who has the authority to claim that my ideas and my system work. First I don’t have a system, and my ideas are not correct. If you know or learn things that are true, then you should toss out anything I have said to you. I try each day to challenge my beliefs with facts and surprisingly each day I find out new ways I am ignorant. Therefore I will not pretend I understand anything.

It’s almost like you have to be born wanting to be kind and authentic with others. I think that we can grow and change in life, but science has said that one of the main differences in the ways that people believe is their brain chemistry. I wonder how much of our beliefs are just brain chemistry and whether the ability to challenge our emotions is innate and not learned.

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I don’t know the truth, but I do know that people resist helpful information and will resist it until their death. How sad for them.