Bad People

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Bad People

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 12, 2009 8:35 am

Something someone posted on another thread had me thinking. We all fling around the words bad people and evil people but were they born that way? Did forces make them that way? Were they that way because no one stopped them? Everyone here has probably had the experience of having to modify your behavior because a person that you care about has told you what you are doing wrong and why. You change your behavior because you want to please them or you've seen the light, so to speak. What if that hadn't happened? Would you have become/been one of the "bad people" we all talk about? If you do good things too are you still a bad person? Do you think that everyone is a mix of bad and good (and will you be punished for that) or you think the bad in you is a flaw, a mistake?

Who judges after death in your religion that you need punishing by suffering or have to be in less desirable circumstances next time? Who decides that?

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Re: Bad People

Post by itty on Tue May 12, 2009 12:15 pm

Oh, Gilly this one is not easy is it? I will take a swat at it with what I think.


gillyflower wrote:Something someone posted on another thread had me thinking. We all fling around the words bad people and evil people but were they born that way?

No, I don't think so. I do think there are some genetic components to our personality. Those peole may have genetic not predispostions for anit-soical behavior or may be amoral. Does that automatically make them bad or evil? No. There are more than a few successful in the world who don't and yet are not bad or evil. It means they have to work hard at recognizing signals or learning behaviors that put them into line with what most everyone else is born with.

Did forces make them that way?

Probably, I think a combination. The predispotion is there. That's nature. The lack of guidance isn't there. That's nurture. Most of us are shaped, in my opinion, by our environments and by our upbringing. We look to our family environment for a lot of those signals. If the norm is to lie then we grow up learning that lying is the acceptable way to live in the world. If we are brought up that cheating on our taxes is accepted then we do. If we learn to be slefish then we are. I think that our home training does play a very large part in the equation. It isn't all of it y far. We get those signals and messages everywhere. We get them for other adults, in schools, on TV, from movies, on line. So I think if a person who has a predispotionh receives those sorts of messages than this can lead to even more of a problem.

Were they that way because no one stopped them?

I tink that is probably more true than not. If we don't get the right signals about what is proper behavior and what isn't we learn from that experience in a negative way. All of us. If no one pulls us up short about our behavior then that behavior is enforced as the norm even when it isn't.

Everyone here has probably had the experience of having to modify your behavior because a person that you care about has told you what you are doing wrong and why. You change your behavior because you want to please them or you've seen the light, so to speak. What if that hadn't happened?

Yes I have. There have been instances in my life and not just as a child where I just did not see that what I was doing was bad or wrong. I had to think long and hard when it was pointed out to me. A lot of times we want what we want and we set about getting that regardless of what we have to do to get it. We say things that are wrong. We go with the crowd and we should have bucked it. We all do it, Gilly. What is most important is that we stop and listen when we are confronted.

Yet this brings up another question. Just who defines bad or evil? Is it bad to refuse to serve in the military because of our moral objections to war? Today we have a voluntary military. When we were young you I know that the draft was operating. Men, young men, were forced into military service. Would those young men bad is they refused to serve because of thier moral objections? What about the men who left the US to avoid the draft? Were thy bad?

A lot of time good, bad or evil are not so black and white.



Would you have become/been one of the "bad people" we all talk about?

Sometimes, Gilly. But it really does go back to who perception we are talking about. When I was growing up I was classed as a 'bad' person because of my sexual orientation. I didn't think of my self as bad. The culture and society that I grew up in did. When I started reacting to that I did what could have been classified as bad. I disobeyed the law. I got nasty, really nasty to people who didn't share the way I felt. I amde fun of heterosexual people. I felt sug and superior that I was not the one at fault and I made damned sure that my pov of view, when I expressed it, was geared to be hurtful. Were my acitons in this regard bad? Today from my own perspective I think so. I was out of control and I hurt people because of it. I made choices that, in the long run hurt others- myself, my family, my community. I know that now. It wasn't until I was in my thirties and had a dear friend point how hurtful, hateful and nasty I had become that I began to see what I was doing and what I needed to become in order to be the person I hope I have become now.

If you do good things too are you still a bad person? Do you think that everyone is a mix of bad and good (and will you be punished for that) or you think the bad in you is a flaw, a mistake?

Everyone is a mix. I don't think there really is a hard and fast distinction between good, bad and evil. I really do think it is perception. I know people will look at Hitler or Pol Pot and say evil, hands down and no question. I would characterize as such. Is what I think, feel and believe the right perception here? I do think most everyone would agree that people like I just outlined are seriously broken and needed to be confined for their safety as well as everyone else's.

Was/is slavery bad or evil. Can we look back, in hindsight, and say with absolute certainty that the institution was b ad or evil? If so in whose eyes and who made the perceptoin about it? Where did the leap from a cultural and socially accetped 'norm' to understanding the inherent suffering and misery come from? How do we judge what happened millenia ago?

What we are certain, today, is bad or evil was not so at different points in time. I think the changes were good. I am glad we have worked hard to make change. I can't, honestly, look at some of these issues from millenia or eons or eras past and make the same characterization from my 21st sensibility and perception. Now, does this admission made ME bad?


Who judges after death in your religion that you need punishing by suffering or have to be in less desirable circumstances next time? Who decides that?

I think we do and we will, Gilly. I don't think that much of what we do is apparent to us in this physical body. We just have enough brain in our body to do that. The universe is much bigger that we can ever conceive here in this three dimensional world we have decided to live in. We are going to find a lot of things after we live our bodies and our consciousness expands.
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Re: Bad People

Post by Chiyo on Tue May 12, 2009 1:13 pm

Buddhism tells us that ignorance and self-centeredness are the cause of all evil. We are all born ignorant and self-centered and remain so, to some degree or another, all of our lives. So it's not so much a question of "what" makes "good" people different from "bad" people, it's a question of "what degree"... To what degree am I ignorant, to what degree am I self-centered? And this is why Buddhists are urged to seek enlightenment, which is seen to be the cure for both ignorance self-centeredness.

The tenets of Buddhism, however, are 26oo years old and could not possibly have anticipated the neurological, hormonal and genetic discoveries of science. Science tells that some of our behaviors are, in fact, inherent and biologically determined. For example, people with sociopathological disorders and some people with fetal alcohol syndrome, do not have the capacity to develop empathy or a conscience. They are either missing that part of their brain entirely, or that particular part of the brain is damaged beyond repair... They are, physically, doomed to remain ignorant and self-centered. Sad


What happens after death? I don't know.
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Re: Bad People

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Tue May 12, 2009 4:44 pm

gillyflower wrote:Something someone posted on another thread had me thinking. We all fling around the words bad people and evil people but were they born that way? Did forces make them that way? Were they that way because no one stopped them? Everyone here has probably had the experience of having to modify your behavior because a person that you care about has told you what you are doing wrong and why. You change your behavior because you want to please them or you've seen the light, so to speak. What if that hadn't happened? Would you have become/been one of the "bad people" we all talk about? If you do good things too are you still a bad person? Do you think that everyone is a mix of bad and good (and will you be punished for that) or you think the bad in you is a flaw, a mistake?


I don't really think that people are inherently anything. I laugh or shake my head at some of the stupid stuff that people do most of the time, but really they are just people who are following one agenda or another. I can't remember any time that I've had to change. If I change it's because I have re-adjusted my priorities. My wife has mentioned that I am like a force of nature. I do what I'm going to do, and damn the consequences. I don't know if I could/would become one of the "bad people", I don't think my agendas are set up in a way that anyone who stood in the way of any of them would be seen as justified. If I was after fame or fortune, or any of the other things that lead people to problems, maybe, but I'm not.



gillyflower wrote:
Who judges after death in your religion that you need punishing by suffering or have to be in less desirable circumstances next time? Who decides that?

No one. These are my personal thoughts, and may differ from others claiming the same set of beliefs that I do, but I don't see a place or necessity for judging at all.

I see it more as a selection process. The chosen of the fallen warriors are split between Odin and Freya. I see no reason to think that the chosen of different classes wouldn't be taken to the halls of the gods that want them anyway. The unchosen simply die.

I understand that as people we have a desire to punish, and to think that no one "gets away" with the "bad" stuff that they do, I just don't see it as necessary, and don't know why the gods would really care.

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Re: Bad People

Post by HailToTheSquirrel on Sun May 17, 2009 11:50 pm

People are, well, people.
So, why should it be that you, and/or I should get along so awfully?

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Re: Bad People

Post by MaineCaptain on Mon May 18, 2009 11:36 am

I believe there are many factors that affect people, Sort of the way ALL Explained it, nature and nurture affect who we become, and since even as adult we continue to change and grow, we can become better people, or sometimes sadly worse people.

Human beings, probably all sentient life is very mold-able.
variables such as culture and upbringing are very powerful.



And Squirrel!!!!! So glad to see you You have been missed Very Happy

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Re: Bad People

Post by gillyflower on Mon May 18, 2009 5:55 pm

I'm listening to an audiobook right now where one of the young men does things and says things because his temper gets the best of him pretty much constantly. He was very much spoiled during his childhood and his displays of temper were glossed over by his parents so he isn't used to controlling himself. He isn't a bad person but he does bad things in fits of temper. It is interesting because if someone would just beat the snot out of him, he'd be the better for it and maybe start learning to start being responsible for - and control - his own behavior.

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Re: Bad People

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon May 18, 2009 7:35 pm

Squirrel, that one is too easy....
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Re: Bad People

Post by Sakhaiva on Fri May 22, 2009 7:29 pm

HailToTheSquirrel wrote:People are, well, people.
So, why should it be that you, and/or I should get along so awfully?

Depeche Mode now? LOLOLOL

Gilly, what is 'good' and what is 'bad' ?
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Re: Bad People

Post by gillyflower on Fri May 22, 2009 8:10 pm

I'm sure the Chinese farmer story springs to your mind, like it springs to mine when one asks another to define good and bad. The concepts are based upon cultural and personal ethical codes.

In the case of the book I was reading, shooting someone because you'd like to inherit what they have and trying to frame another person for it was considered a bad thing to do.

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Re: Bad People

Post by maya3 on Sat May 23, 2009 11:43 am

Itty, I love you comments!

I think that very few people are born "bad," the only ones are those who are psychopaths and have something mentally wrong with them.

I think that most people thinks that they are doing the right thing most of the time. Even Hitler, he really thought he did germany a service by murdering jews, gypsies and gays. At least most of the time, if he had doubts by then it had expanded out of his control.

I can also understand anger, like Itty described, we are very vulnerable as humans. We can be so enlightened and sit and talk about how spiritual and compassionate we are, but if we have several bad things happen to us in a row for any length of time, only an incredibly strong person could handle that and stay centered.
I think children who are not well cared for mentally and physically as children will not grow up as with all the tools neccesarry to handle life. Everyone has issues but some really have it worse because of the way they were brought up. (which is why I'm pro choice, children should be welcome, they are too important to be born because of careless people who could not even use birthcontrol. (I know it's not black and white here either)

My religion?
No one gets punished, it has to do with our own learning process and our own understanding of what is right or wrong. If we have not figured it out in this life, we'll come back to relearn.

Maya
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Re: Bad People

Post by Sakhaiva on Sat May 23, 2009 6:43 pm

gillyflower wrote:I'm sure the Chinese farmer story springs to your mind, like it springs to mine when one asks another to define good and bad. The concepts are based upon cultural and personal ethical codes.

In the case of the book I was reading, shooting someone because you'd like to inherit what they have and trying to frame another person for it was considered a bad thing to do.


I think anyone is capable of anything given the right (or very wrong) circumstances. No one is above doing harm. I think of Frodo in LOTR... though he carried the ring faithfully for so long, when it came down to it, not even he could resist temptation.

It grieves me that our society craves 'justice' as it does; I wish we would develop greater empathy and compassion even for those who do things we cannot understand. So on a practical level, what does this look like? Prevention programs, intervention, behavior modification programs for the very damaged... things like that whenever possible. In the very saddest cases, meaning true sociopaths, not much can be done aside from bringing the individual to a place where they can do no harm.

But I'm dreaming. We are too obsessed with law and justice in these parts to think about such things. But at least we don't still do lynchings, right? (That brings me back to the observation that anyone is capable of doing anything given the right set of circumstances.)
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Re: Bad People

Post by gillyflower on Sat May 23, 2009 9:34 pm

I'm glad that you bought that up. I think that it is a product of our litigious culture. We want to make every accident be someone's fault and "someone" has to pay. It isn't enough that it's an accident. The natural consequences of a person's actions aren't enough - "someone" has to step in a heap on additional punishment for things to be fair, be it a judge or jury or a god.

It's why, I think, some Christians cannot accept that their god won't punish other people forever who disagree with them. Maybe that's what they would do if given the chance.

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Re: Bad People

Post by Sakhaiva on Sat May 23, 2009 11:58 pm

Well said Gilly.
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Re: Bad People

Post by John T Mainer on Sun May 24, 2009 9:25 pm

Hercules acted the ass at a wedding and killed an innocent. To make amends he journeyed through the underworld to restore her. One act of thoughtless violence, balanced by one act of thoughtful heroism. Of course all of us can do the first, and none of us can do the second. Failing to be demigods, the best the rest of us can hope for is to learn from our mistakes, and seek to make restitution in our own imperfect way for the thoughtless harm we do when we fail ourselves.

You cannot unring a bell. You cannot take back your words. Sorry does not replace teeth or mend bones. The dead remain so.

We either choose to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them, or we choose to continue on regardless of the cost to ourselves and others. I don't want to say that is necessarily evil, but it doesn't sound all that smart.

In the end only you are responsible for your actions. In the end your fate is what you forged in those decisions. No one enforces it or proclaims it. You simply forge for yourself your own reward or doom, and upon no ones head but your own is it. For many people the surprise at the end is the splendor and wonder of the glory earned by choosing to fight the little battles to make this world brighter. A million thoughtless acts of kindness, courage, and humour can raise a mighty hall in the lands of our ancestors without a single trophy to point to as the "great thing" you did. Life is the thousand little things that happen while waiting for great events.

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Re: Bad People

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:44 pm

What is good? What is bad? Such a great in depth topic! I really, really try not to go good/bad....good/evil. My view on this is: How about, "Is there a balance between light & dark?" Hmmm. I'm a let the strong survive, naturalist, kinda gal. Hippie
Humans are so complex and as Chiyo pointed out ignorance and self-centerness (EGO) is the root of many problems that mankind has had, and continues to have. Like Maine Captain pointed out nature and nurture sometimes go hand in hand. Sometimes, not. Or as gillyflower stated " someone would just beat the snot out of him, he'd be the better for it and maybe start learning to start being responsible for - and control - his own behavior."
If we could take our cues from Mother Nature, and learn to live right now, in the present, we would all be better off for it. Even our fur friends teach us, through trial and error, that you will be warned, you persist with your rule breaking, a swift pin down, or cuff is evident! Hug Speaking of fur friends, the CAT is the world's #1 predator. We can feed them bowls full of spaghetti, and endless plates of cat food...but like all cats (large & domesticated)....they will ALWAYS hunt! Are they bad? No, they keep themselves and their surroundings in balance.
Which brings me haplessly back to: Some of us just don't have lives, and we're just not satisfied with what we do have. (EGO, getting in the way)
On judging, on judgment day, or at deaths door, or at the pearly gates? Well As John T observed: We either choose to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them, or we choose to continue on regardless of the cost to ourselves and others. Most people forget about the cost to ourselves. (You just don't grow in any direction because of your own ignorance!) The Native American does not point at anything, or anyone (it is a rude gesture) for he well knows that as one finger points ahead, & accuses a spirit, his own 3 fingers are pointing back at him! We judge ourselves, and I believe as Maya 3, if ya can't get it right this go round, well come on back and re learn! study
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Re: Bad People

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:00 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:I believe there are many factors that affect people, Sort of the way ALL Explained it, nature and nurture affect who we become, and since even as adult we continue to change and grow, we can become better people, or sometimes sadly worse people.

I believe the nature/nurture explanation can only go so far, and even then the credibility factor is weak. The same can be said for the so called middle child syndrome. These are labels psychologist have hung on some with emotional immaturity, and once this was done, excuses were made for bad behavior, and it was not only expected, but largely over looked until something tragic happens. When people make excuses for bad parenting, rather than be proactive and remove the child from the source of bad parenting, you get what you get. The same holds true IMO about this middle child syndrome. If a kid hears long enough from people he is supposed to learn life's lessons from that his misdeeds are the results of the line up card by the coach, then he'll begin to believe it's so, and act accordingly.

It would seem that with the increase of children diagnosed and treated with harmful drugs (which the side effects of are just now seeing the light of day) for ADD/Hyperactivity, it has become "mother's little helper" in reverse! Children are no longer allowed to rip and roar outside or required to invent games to keep them entertained. There are play dates, computerized games which can give the impression of physical activity, yet all done while huddled around the television set, or some organized setting where the game is sanitized with Prearranged rules and a large dose of adult interference, rather than letting the kids use their imagination to make up the rules of the game as they go along. Remember, in little league, there is no such thing as the 4 foul balls you're out rule. When I was a kid, there was no such diagnosis as ADD. A hyper kid was simply rambunctious, and given more things to do to keep him occupied. We were expected to fend for ourselves in the entertainment department in the summer. We played, swam, or just laid around as we chose, and we were expected to stay outside until the street lights came on in the evening. AND WE GOT DIRTY TOO!!!! Somehow parents then seemed to instinctively know that all kids all came wash and wear/wrinkle free.

Mental defects go a long way in why humans make bad decisions, I'm sure. But for me, I just think that by and large, people choose the way they want to go about their lives. Many find taking the short cuts an easier route to follow than by playing according to society's rules. And there's a lot to be said about the thrill one might get by breaking the rules and seeing if they can get away with it.

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Re: Bad People

Post by MaineCaptain on Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:39 pm

Don't pick on me, Razz
I believe everyone is responsible for their own behaviour. I do think where you come from affects what you become, to some extent, but Ones behaviour is ones own responsibility entirely.

When I was a child I was certain I would never move and leave the hell I was living in. I did not know it could be done. Did not know there was a place to go even if one could try to escape. I was 20 when I found my way out of Hell as a place. And I pushed darn hard to achieve that.

But oddly I am still broken to some extent from my early years. I fight against that everyday. And have made strides.
However no matter how bad my early years were, I do not commit crimes or cause hurt to others and blame them on my upbringing.
That would not be true and would be a cop out.

I live a quiet, law abiding life, trying to be a good person, because no matter what,.. my decisions are my own. And I take responsibility for them.

I do wish I was stronger, but I am working on it. Embarassed

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Re: Bad People

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:14 pm

MaineCaptain wrote:Don't pick on me, Razz
I believe everyone is responsible for their own behaviour. I do think where you come from affects what you become, to some extent, but Ones behaviour is ones own responsibility entirely.

When I was a child I was certain I would never move and leave the hell I was living in. I did not know it could be done. Did not know there was a place to go even if one could try to escape. I was 20 when I found my way out of Hell as a place. And I pushed darn hard to achieve that.

But oddly I am still broken to some extent from my early years. I fight against that everyday. And have made strides.
However no matter how bad my early years were, I do not commit crimes or cause hurt to others and blame them on my upbringing.
That would not be true and would be a cop out.

I live a quiet, law abiding life, trying to be a good person, because no matter what,.. my decisions are my own. And I take responsibility for them.

I do wish I was stronger, but I am working on it. Embarassed

Maine, you , like Alex have a strength in you that you aren't even remotely aware of, even though it shows in you. When I answered, I honestly didn't think I was picking on you, because up until now, and as often as we have talked, I was never aware that you had had bad experiences growing up. I think it can be honestly said however that people do fall back on these excuses I mentioned. I know this for a fact, because my middle son has used that excuse his entire 23 years of living. Nature vs nurture? My kids weren't abused... well, no one kid was abused more than any other. Rolling Eyes And of the five, this has been the kid who has hung with the "wrong crowd", by his own choice, has left it to his brothers and sister to pick up his slack on the home front chores, and is in fact the only one of the five who don't have fond memories of growing up in the family. He has ostrasized himself from his siblings, and holds them, as well as us, his parents responsible for his actions. He has made everty wrong choice in every life decision he has ever been confronted with. Education, work, or just in the act of living life on life's terms. If there is an easier softer way of doing things, or a short cut he can take, then that's the road he still chooses to travel. Somehow I don't see this in you, Gracie. But as a result of watching this kid grow, with the same rules and discipline as the other four, and see his failure to achieve in the same way the others have, I have to take exception to the nature/nurture argument. For too damn many years, I held myself to blame for how he turned out. No longer. The youngest is on his way out the door. By this time next year, he will have graduated, and he has his life planned out before him. The others, now marred and on their own are productive citizens, leading quiet lives and raising families. All have careers they totally love, and have worked their collective asses off to get there, coming to us only for parental advice now, and the occasional bitch about spoiling the grand kids too much. I have finally come to the conclusion that it isn't my fault, nor is it Dee's that this one bad seed showed up in our garden. I've reach the point to where I will no longer allow myself to be the victim of his poor choices.

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Re: Bad People

Post by gillyflower on Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:06 pm

I have to agree with you. In the 60s, I was taught that it was all due to nurture, and then the pendulum swung into a more moderate position in recent decades. I saw a program on some people who believed that and who adopted children as well as had them and sadly, the some children did not turn out especially well while the others did, although they all had the exact same parenting. Some people overcome every obstacle, some are handed everything and they end up in prison.

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Re: Bad People

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:42 pm

Last I read much on what determines behavior, there was mounting evidence that a person's character is pretty much fixed by the time they're five years old, and the bulk of what determines character is probably genetics. Sure, parenting and family circumstances have something to do with how a person turns out, but I don't see how these two factors alone explain how just one kid turns out a mess while all the others in a family are reasonably happy, productive people. A genetic flaw, on the other hand, could easily explain that.
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Re: Bad People

Post by Beribee on Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:16 pm

John A. Cancienne wrote:

It would seem that with the increase of children diagnosed and treated with harmful drugs (which the side effects of are just now seeing the light of day) for ADD/Hyperactivity, it has become "mother's little helper" in reverse! Children are no longer allowed to rip and roar outside or required to invent games to keep them entertained. There are play dates, computerized games which can give the impression of physical activity, yet all done while huddled around the television set, or some organized setting where the game is sanitized with Prearranged rules and a large dose of adult interference, rather than letting the kids use their imagination to make up the rules of the game as they go along. Remember, in little league, there is no such thing as the 4 foul balls you're out rule. When I was a kid, there was no such diagnosis as ADD. A hyper kid was simply rambunctious, and given more things to do to keep him occupied. We were expected to fend for ourselves in the entertainment department in the summer. We played, swam, or just laid around as we chose, and we were expected to stay outside until the street lights came on in the evening. AND WE GOT DIRTY TOO!!!! Somehow parents then seemed to instinctively know that all kids all came wash and wear/wrinkle free.

John, before I had kids, I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you about the whole ADD thing. However, now that I have IDENTICAL twin sons, where one has ADD and the other does not, my opinion has changed dramatically. It is heartbreaking to watch one of your sons try and try to concentrate on something and not be able to. Both kids played outside as much as possible and were limited on how much time they spent in front of a TV or playing video games. He was diagnosed after his first year of Kindergarten when the teacher couldn't figure out why he wouldn't focus. (Both sons repeated Kindergarten for reasons I won't get into here.) We refused to put him on meds until after 4th grade when the teachers sat us down and told us that what they were doing to help him up 'til that point was simply not working anymore. I'll give you a quick description of what a child with ADD goes through. If I give the child without ADD a list of 3 things to be done, they all get done. If I give the ADD child 3 things to get done, the first will be done, the second might get done and the third NEVER gets done. It's not that he doesn't want to do them, he simply loses focus after the first task. He is an exceptionally bright child, who has no behavioral problems in or out of school....he just needs support to stay on task. The boys are now 15 and are both A/B students (with an occasional C) and they are both working on becoming Eagle Scouts....so obviously the meds are helping!

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Re: Bad People

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:18 pm

Wink Isn't that wonderful, that you were blessed with two beautiful healthy sons! They are thriving, & their needs are being met, dutifully by you the parent! My oldest son, Mr. Air Force was/is ADD, just like his mother (me), and most of the Italian lineage that flows through his veins. Our daughter has ADD tendencies (brought on by foods). There was a book by a Dr. Smith, back in the 80's that was very eye opening. Back when ADD hit the "whats wrong with your child list". People with ADD don't need excuses, or labels we just need things to keep us focused & busy. Hopefully things we are interested in! Me its electrical/fix it projects, my son, is a C5 Airplane mechanic, my daughter loves to garden. Once we get that, we can focus for hours on end! I believe what hubby was saying is because of all the hype behind all these "childhood defects" (which have been around since the beginning of time) there is a quick fix that society labels as misfortunate, or bad. The school system as of late, has gone a bit over board with the labeling of children! I could go on forever about classifying children, but I'll stop here. It may be a boring, or sore subject for some folks. Interesting discussion of then & now though!
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Re: Bad People

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:07 am

Beribee wrote:John, before I had kids, I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you about the whole ADD thing. However, now that I have IDENTICAL twin sons, where one has ADD and the other does not, my opinion has changed dramatically. It is heartbreaking to watch one of your sons try and try to concentrate on something and not be able to. Both kids played outside as much as possible and were limited on how much time they spent in front of a TV or playing video games. He was diagnosed after his first year of Kindergarten when the teacher couldn't figure out why he wouldn't focus. (Both sons repeated Kindergarten for reasons I won't get into here.) We refused to put him on meds until after 4th grade when the teachers sat us down and told us that what they were doing to help him up 'til that point was simply not working anymore. I'll give you a quick description of what a child with ADD goes through. If I give the child without ADD a list of 3 things to be done, they all get done. If I give the ADD child 3 things to get done, the first will be done, the second might get done and the third NEVER gets done. It's not that he doesn't want to do them, he simply loses focus after the first task. He is an exceptionally bright child, who has no behavioral problems in or out of school....he just needs support to stay on task. The boys are now 15 and are both A/B students (with an occasional C) and they are both working on becoming Eagle Scouts....so obviously the meds are helping!

Willowcreek and I knew of our son's ADD long before the thought of school ever began. We had to sleep in shifts, because (as Dee calls him) Mr Air Force slept no more than 3 or 4 hours a day, and was up and wanting to play in the wee hours of the morning. Dee was at that time a stay at home mom, and I was an Army recruiter with an impossible schedule. When Dave was around 4 years old, we met an unusual Army doctor who ran an EEG on Dave and diagnosed him with severe ADD. He recommended some books to read up on, and advised us (very unusual for doctor) not to put Dave on any type of medication.

We read the books. It dealt a lot with nutrition, additives and preservatives found in almost all foods sold in the market. But it went even deeper than that. We learned that a hyper-active child sees things differently than we do.... literally. Take fluorescent lights for example; the difference between fluorescent and incandescent lights is a flicker. Fluorescent lights flicker on and off at a rate of speed normal eyes can't detect. It goes from light to dark faster than a person without a hyper-active disorder can see, yet the kid with this problem literally can see. Now, why does this make a difference? Simply put, it's the activity. Like noises. The louder the activity, the more hyper the child becomes. Bowling alleys are the worst, what with the noise of the balls striking the pins and the pin action itself. White chalk plays a factor in setting off hyper activity, as believe it or not, menthol from cigarettes. What we did was clean out our kitchen, and go to either growing our own vegetables or buying from farmer's markets. Dee stopped smoking menthol cigarettes. We bought yellow chalk (this was when schools still used chalk boards) for our son's teachers and got to know the cafeteria employees very well. We managed to control the sugar intake even when he was eating lunch in school.

David's friends knew squat about hyper activity. What they did know was that as long as we eliminated all of the trash in his diet, he was a fun, lovable kid to hang with. And they became our snitches. If Dave cheated, they told us.

Dave is grown now, married to a wonderful, very laid back young lady. He still keeps odd hours, but his schedule in the Air Force compliments this. He managed to get through all 12 years of school without these meds, and I for one am thankful for it.

Now, please don't take this as a criticism for parents who do opt for the medication. We did what worked for us. I did see something way back then on 60 Minutes that helped me come to the decision we came to. It was a case study of men in prison who had been diagnosed with hyper-activity/ADD, given meds, but not given counseling with it. I don't remember specifics, but the study concluded that although the medicines did calm the activity, it did nothing for the emotional aspect of the problem. I don't know how relevant this may seem to you, but it could be worth checking into.

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Re: Bad People

Post by MaineCaptain on Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:08 pm

I know you were not picking on my John which is why I used the sticking tongue out smiley.
And I take it as the greatest compliment that my childhood does not show in my writing. I have worked hard to over come it. So I am glad it is not obvious. Very Happy

I do not blame my Mother for my early trauma, that could be because although she was the sole care giver she had no idea what what going on, and I know she was doing her darnedest to keep me safe and happy, even if it did not as she intended. To be honest I don't know how she did it.
Her life was no bowl of cherries when I was young and she never, not once ever stopped trying to be the best she could be with the odds against her. I am not nearly the person she was, she amazes me. More and more all the time. And she has been gone for a while now. I miss her.

There are others I could blame, but I am long since over that, probably more for my own peace of mind then any other, but I am at peace with that. I do find however that early life experiences do haunt me in the challenges in my life. But I am working on making proper decisions.

My father was an alcoholic, I am not, I am clean and sober through choice. And in spite of all my weaknesses. My life is pretty good. And I plan to make it better as time goes on and I continue to work on it.

I am sorry you have heartache with your one of your sons. (((John))) (((Willow))) too becasue it is your heart as well

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Re: Bad People

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