I’ve been programmed, how about you?
I am reminded of the lyrics from a song by one of my favorite musical groups, Pink Floyd. Another Brick in the Wall (part II) written by Roger Waters:
“We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.
………………………………….Wrong, Do it again!
If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
My programming was gained initially through participation in a military family, parents that grew up in the South, exposure to a maternal grandfather that was a staunch racist, a paternal grandmother that was not and 10 years of Catholic school education complete with required catechism classes. My programming was further enhanced via two years of “public” high school and five years of social (and sometime academic) exposure at University. Programming continued through four years as an Air Force Officer, twenty years in senior management with several firms and finally a decade plus in the accommodation industry both in the US and in New Zealand. More recently my programming has been modified through participation with a variety of community volunteer groups.
In retrospect I question how much wisdom was gained despite the massive amount of information exposure that occurred? In my “formative” years “I liked Ike” and a bit later I wanted to “ask what I could do for my country”. During University I moved a bit further to the left in my thinking. While in the Air Force I reversed course moving back in the “right” direction. As a senior manager, then executive and accommodation entrepreneur I continued to proceed further to the right. During the last decade, via my volunteer participation, my views have moderated and moved back closer to the political center.
What I now realize is that most of my view has been “influenced” by both others and by the responsibility of the various money producing positions that I held. I wonder if I really have any views that are truly my own? I find that doing my own research on a variety of topics has been very satisfying. It has been extremely difficult to set my past programming aside and I find it an ongoing struggle. My key is to ask myself what is the basis of my current view. What is the source of my information? Is it backed up by other sources? Can I say for certain that I am in touch with the facts? How much of my view is based on a belief system? Am I just another brick in the wall?