WHY IS CHANGE SO HARD? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

The unknown can be frightening.

Did you ever try and have a logical discussion with a true religious believer? Try it a few times and you’ll probably never try again. It gets nowhere. To actually contemplate that we know nothing about the existence or non-existence of god is scary. It’s easier and less traumatic to accept the literal translation of what’s in the Bible or Koran.

It took a long time to accept that the world wasn’t flat or that there were microscopic bacteria that caused infection or that by using the concept of Bernoulli’s principle thousands of pounds of steel could be made to fly carrying hundreds of passengers all around the world, or that something called the Internet would replace beating on drums to send messages to fellow humans.

We grew up in homes where our parents taught us what was right and what was wrong. What if they were wrong? Why continue to promulgate the nonsense that they taught us?

Teenagers rebel — hair, tats, language, music… But then they grow up and the need to question fades.

But there IS hope. Our society is filled with couples of mixed race who fell in love and decided it was okay. The Supreme Court decided that gay and lesbian marriages are just as valid as heterosexual marriages. Our president, a black man, was elected TWICE.

Change may be hard, but it is obviously possible. We see our fellow humans in the Middle East struggle against religious fanatics who KNOW they are right because it is written in the Koran. Can you believe that a moderate was elected in Iran!

Change makes us uncomfortable, but by trying new things and getting used to them, we are preparing for future change and the chance that real logic can be a dominating force instead of prejudice and defensiveness.

If you enjoy being Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist, you might also enjoy, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, and Skin Dance, a mystery. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

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