Part 1 of A Seven Part Series on Why People Do What They Do
“What is wrong with people?” is what many of us think, say, or shout in the wake of a seemingly senseless, sudden action or comment we encounter by another person or persons.
It might be someone cutting us off while driving, using profanity in front of children, making rash or unthoughtful comments, making a senseless financial decision or wrongful action to a friendship or relationship.
On the grander scale, it might be a political decision you don’t favor, a disagreement with a theological or ecclesiastical (church) decision or a troubling socially and politically correct trend.
For many of us, these kinds of things not only upset us but make our blood boil with anger.
This often stated frustration made by many appears to be on the increase; in reality however, this “social-psychological” problem is as old and as common as man himself.
The main cause or ingredient to this problem is a lack of common sense or critical thinking; in essence, people simply don’t think things through. They neither think things through thoroughly and completely nor weigh the consequences of the subsequent action.
Some would say such critical thinking and evaluation is near impossible “on the run” or in the “heat of the moment”. Therein lies one of the most serious of this social-psychological problem; most of us need to slow down.
It is impossible to think a thing through if you’re living life at the speed of light.
The computer era has made the term of “multi-tasking” the common cliché. In reality multi-tasking is all too often the attempt to do too much at one time and like the old adage says, “A jack of all trades is the master of none”.
This multi-tasking develops an environment of increased personal pressure forcing many to toss critical thinking or “common sense” out the window; the result is another common cliché of our day, “It is what it is”.
The reality of this nonchalant attitude of “It is what it is” is simply a “don’t care” attitude; seldom is what something appears to be reality.
When the majority of people develop this “It is what it is” attitude there is no base for establishing common sense or critical thinking and no reason for people to think things through thoroughly.
The failure to think things through thoroughly ends in negative results from not considering all the possibilities, ramifications and consequences of a possible action.
As stated in the introduction to this seven part series, you will not only find a discussion of what’s wrong with people but also answers.
People can only begin to use common sense and critical thinking if they have a standard on which to base their actions and decisions.
As a Christian Psychologist and counselor, I find no better standard than the Bible.
There are three verses which emphasize what people can do to think things through thoroughly:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. (James 1:5 NIV)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Act without anger:
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26)
Part 2 of “What’s wrong with people?” will discuss “Why people take the easy way out?”
© 2018 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD