Mental shifts

When I was a teenager, and computers where just starting to become common things in Italian households, I remember a family friend used to be convinced that they could transmit viruses that where dangerous to people.

What happened is that he probably heard about computer viruses, and he just stuck to his own definition: viruses are a danger for human beings.

This challenge in making new ideas fit into old mental concept and ideas is very common. And if you fall into that, you are not an idiot or uneducated. You simply still have not had the mental shift.

And for that, you are pretty much always in time.

Content

There’s too much talk about improvement and growth and too little talk about acceptance and contentment.

Wanting to be better, wanting to have more, wanting to learn and move forward, these are all very commendable aspirations. But when they get applied to every situation and when we look at them in the shortest possible amount of time, they are just going to eat us.

Life is not that long, and we need to find a way to be OK with what we have, with who we are.

Infuriating

One of the things that’s more infuriating is acting in a way that does not fit the image we have of ourselves.

Raising the voice when we like to think we are calm and understanding.

Cheating at a game when we like to think we are fair and honest.

Gossiping to fit in when we like to think we are open and trustworthy.

And the funny thing is that it’s true whether we have a clear idea of who we want to be or not.

But if we don’t know what we want to be, we’ll never figure out what infuriates us, nor we will ever do anything to correct that.

For the best or for the worst

You can set rules for the best case scenario or you can set rules for the worst case scenario.

When you use the best case scenario as a basis, you trust that things will progress well, that people are trustworthy, that nothing terrible or horrible will happen, that “bad” is a situation that can still be managed without much pain.

When you use the worst case scenario as a basis, you look at what will go wrong, at those who will betray you or not keep their part of the deal, at principles that need to be protected, at a “good” situation that is very difficult to digest.

Socially responsible

Many companies claim that they will be changing the World – or the way the World does this and that. Few even actually understand what changing the World means.

In Finland, a local grocery chain has declared themselves “bully-free zone” (article linked in Finnish). And it’s a fantastic win.

Not because it’s their business. Not because they make money from it. Not because they are getting free publicity.

But because it makes sense.

  • Bullying is a problem, in Finland like anywhere else.
  • Bullying happens mainly at school or around schools.
  • In Finland in particular, kids go to school and back home on their own, from as early as 7. That makes the journey home-school-home a problem for a bullied kid.
  • This grocery chain has a lot of local stores, often not far from schools.
  • Stores employ familiar adults (you shop there every day), they are open long hours, they are well lighted (Finland gets long dark days in winter), and there’s typically other people around.
  • So, they promote that every employee at their grocery chain is a safe adult for kids to turn to when bullied.

It must be one of the best executed corporate social responsibility campaigns ever.