by Rod Smith

You may have noticed there are about 7 layers beneath the situations – the problems, anti-social behaviors, joys, conflicts, kindnesses, dilemmas, addictions, attractions, and much more – churning within you and within the people with whom you live and those whom you meet everyday.

A less-complex linear world may be convenient but human dynamics escape mere “cause and effect.”

We are much more (thankfully) than billiard balls bumping into each other.

“Johnny doesn’t want to go to school” followed by “What’s ‘wrong’ with Johnny?” or “What’s ‘wrong’ with the teacher or school?” is linear thinking.

Johnny may want to stay home from school to protect mom from dad or dad from mom and not even know it. Johnny may prefer home to school because he recognizes rejection from children of a different socio-economic group than he enjoys or endures. Johnny may well be unaware of the reasons for the anxiety he feels when leaving for school and, if family members who had similar feelings about schooling generations before he was conceived, were honest, Johnny may realize he’s from a long line of school-resistent family members.

Yes, your behavior is at least as complex as my fictional Johnny’s behavior.

Appreciating the multiple levels underlying complex human behaviors takes empathy, patience and kindness.

For an observer lacking empathy we are all not much more than the results of mere cause and effect, billiard balls knocking into each other.

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