Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It was just the other evening that I sat down to watch some late night television. Flipping through the channels, I came across a repeat episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Now it's not a show that I watch in prime time, but catch once in awhile during the late evenings. But wouldn't you know, I've seen all of about six episodes in their entirety and the episode I turned on the other evening is one that I have seen three times.

What are the odds of that occurring? "Pretty good," you say? This same phenomenon has happened to me more than once to make it a coincidence. How about you?

Of a similar nature, there is an old postulate [the source of which I can no longer remember] that states that (1) there are very important but basic lessons that must be learned in Life and (2) Life will continue to take you back to the same lesson until it is learned by you.

As I stated in our Morning Walk yesterday, for me it would have to be the basic lesson of patience. Just when I think I have a basic mastery of the concept and skill, I find myself thrown into crowded situations and manic moments where Life seemingly grinds to a halt; I'm waiting in a long line, stuck at a long stoplight, put on hold for several moments, etc. It's like a bad rerun; it's like watching the same episode again and again. "Hey, I've already seen this one... I know how it's going to end." Yep, we tend to know how it's going to end, but did we learn anything from it?

I had studied, early in my college education, psychological human development and the science of psychology would tell us that basically habits are formed due to (1) our repetition of a certain behavior because we are intrinsically rewarded for doing that behavior or (2) our repetition of a certain behavior so as to avoid some intrinsic punishment for not doing the behavior. Either way, in layman's terms, we develop our habits until they're engrained from years of repetition. So it's no wonder Life tends to bring us back to those lessons we need to relearn; Life takes us back to those habits we need to alter.

When asked why we continue a particular habit, we find ourselves saying, "I don't know... just because..." And often times, it's the very same response we give when asked why we're watching a rerun for the sixth time. So what is it for you, my friend? What lesson or lessons are you finding yourself being schooled in again and again? What habit - although you repeat it again and again - just doesn't seem to be working for you?

Perhaps it's time to change the channel to a new broadcast.

hoedl's haven
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