Did you ever wonder why, a man watching a football game on the television, becomes the television? He becomes so intensely focused everything else around him ceases to exist. A woman on the other hand, can watch the football game, while she is cooking dinner, doing laundry, helping kids with homework and answering the phone. This is nature at work. As cavemen, men were the hunters, women the gatherers. Survival instincts dictated men had to become intently focused on their prey to ensure a clean kill. Woman took in her surroundings to gather food, and keep their children safe. Nature, survival of the fittest, is just one influence on our orderly thinking.
Logic, the process of orderly thinking, is influenced by so many factors, such as gender, enculturation, emotional influences and experience. These influences have a direct impact on the perceptions we carry with us throughout our lives. Fortunately, if we utilize critical thinking, we can refine our logic, and have the opportunity to continually change or cultivate our perceptions, our point of view, to make better choices or decisions based on past experiences.
Both of my parents were born and raised on farms in southern Ohio. They were not exposed to much outside what one would expect in a small, very rural, farming community. When they married, they left the farms, and moved to the city to start their family. They certainly experienced many new things, and realized, because of their rural, conservative upbringing, they had a very slanted view of the world. They did not want this for their children and chose to provide us with experiences that would help us expand our horizons. Being Christians, they started with church. We were all baptized into the Presbyterian faith. But we didn’t attend the church in our suburban neighborhood. Mom and Dad didn’t think that was going to provide what they were looking for. So, every Sunday, we loaded up and attended an inner city Presbyterian Church. The denomination was the same, yet the cultures very different. We were the only ‘colorless’ family at the church. After services we either went to someone’s home, or someone came to our home to share lunch. There is no doubt this enculturation experience forever enhanced my views on diversity, acceptance, and tolerance and has provided me with an education that to this day, impacts my thinking and the decisions I make.
An example is when my kids were entering elementary school, the neighborhood school they would have attended would not have provided them with the culturally rich, and diverse education a nearby alternative school offered. They attended the alternative school through 5th grade which, I believe enhanced their views of diversity, acceptance and tolerance. This was a gift given to me by my parents, and passed along...