That Ridiculous Idea That Genes Underlie Behavior

Yesterday I was talking with a friend whose son has been so called diagnosed as being so called autistic. I got the impression that my friend feels that genes are somehow causing his son to behave in that so called autistic way. No chance.

I’ve also heard that genes cause depression and that genes can cause people to drink too much, and I even recently read about someone whose so called criminal defense team said that he should not be punished too harshly because his genes made him do it. While so called punishing people may be ridiculous, the idea that genes make people do things is maybe even more ridiculous.

Here’s the deal. Genes are merely templates for proteins. When a protein is needed somehow within a body, a gene is used in the creation of the protein. That’s all. I am not sure how many people are aware of this. People ascribe all kinds of things to genes and maybe once they are aware of what genes really are, they will see how ridiculous it is to blame behavior on genes.

A person is a being manifesting in a body. It’s not the body calling the shots. It’s not the genes calling the shots. When a person has another drink, or chooses a white shirt, or runs for political office, or acts all freaky, or takes lipstick without paying for it, the person, not the person’s genes, is making that choice.

People have all kinds of reasons for doing what they do, or don’t do. They may have misconceptions about life, misconceptions upon which they base their strategies for handling life. So their strategies may be flawed and their behavior bizarre. It’s not genes. It’s misconceptions. They can have infinite reasons for what they do, from childhood trauma, to messages picked up from alcohol marketing, to things they learned from their parents and peers. Whatever it is, it’s not genes making  them make choices.

So this is a good thing to get clear in your mind, especially because so many have it so wrong. If you are dealing with a kid who is acting up in school or you are having a tough time changing a habit or you know someone who is having difficulty interacting socially or focusing on tasks, just remember, it’s not about genes. It’s about ideas, habits, strategies, unconscious desires or anything else that underlies choices people make.

Sickness Addiction, Maybe the Worst Addiction of All

A few years ago, at the beginning of a summer, I started working with someone who had been diagnosed with als and was using a motorized wheelchair to get around for the most part. We put some serious energy into getting her healthier, and toward the end of the summer she told me she had good news for me. She had gotten up from that wheelchair and walked around for, get this, an hour straight. Oh how much better she felt.

That was pretty much the last I heard from her.

Huh? Wasn’t she pleased? You would think she would be excited to keep going and get even healthier.

While I was surprised at the time, I am no longer perplexed by things like this. I know the deal. Sickness addiction put her right back in that chair and is keeping her there.

What do I mean?

Check this out. It turns out that right about that time, a group of people in her community had come together to give her, yep give her, a house, renovated to accommodate a wheelchair. Wow. What if she no longer needed the wheelchair? How would that have all worked out?

She also has projects going on, some of which are closely related to her being sick. What if she were no longer sick? What would happen to her bucket list of things to do before she died? What would happen with all the other things that to some degree revolve around her being sick.

So she was stuck sick, and still is, as far as I am aware.

I have seen this type of thing countless times and it is a huge theme in healing and has been a huge surprise for me.

When I got into helping people heal, I figured some people would be skeptical and others, such as people with medical degrees, would feel threatened by it. I was not ready for how stuck people are being sick. That’s maybe the biggest obstacle to healing of all. Sickness is so deeply integrated into people’s lifestyles, into their images of themselves, into everything they have going on, that getting healthy is the last thing they are ready to do.

Being sick can catalyze improvement in people’s lives, such as improving relationships with family members or changing for the better what they find worth focusing on. People who are ill get involved in causes and do other things they never did when they were healthier. People who are sick even get called heroes, just because they stay positive in the face of it all. For these and other reasons, being sick can have a very powerful allure.

Yes they march for cures, and speak before congress, and donate to research, and volunteer for clinical trials, and travel far to get treatment not available locally. Yes, they and their families are truly devastated by the consequences of illness.

Still, when you get right down to it, what’s really keeping people sick, when in reality their are plenty of ways available for them to get healthy, is their own addiction to sickness and all that comes with it. Sure, using drugs can harm your body. Sure, smoking has its damaging effects. Sure, gambling can be horrible on your finances and blood pressure. Still, the addiction that does the most to make and keep people sick is addiction to sickness itself.

The War On Drugs, A Non Healing Approach That Disrespects The Citizens It Supposedly Protects

Back when I was in high school, a friend told me that marijuana is illegal because if it were not, everyone would sit around smoking it and everything would fall apart.

Let’s face it. The truth is that marijuana is available to pretty much anyone who wants some and everyone is not sitting around smoking it. So much for that premise of the so called war on drugs.

Making a new law is never really a healing approach anyway. Laws involve the use of force to repress the ills of society without really healing things.

Beyond that, the more I consider the war on drugs, the more I have realized that what it really is mostly is disrespectful. I mean what those who advocate for the war on drugs are really saying is that the people of the United States, professionals, parents, children, educators, you name it, are too pathetic to take care of themselves. Yup. Supposedly, if we let those big bad Mexicans, Colombians and whomever else bring drugs into this country, the poor, pathetic, weak minded Americans are gonna use those drugs, and so someone has to stop those drugs from being available in the first place.

It’s all so lame, it costs a bundle, it fills jails and it is so unnecessary and misguided.

How about just educating people. How about just actually taking time to raise children with enough sense to make healthy choices. How about instead of acting like a bunch of heroes for making small dents in the steady stream of drugs, if people must do anything, they spend their time encouraging people to step up and take care of themselves.

In a nation of people with common sense, with some decent education, in a nation with a healthy culture, the fields could be full of coca, poppies and marijuana, the streets could be paved with drugs, and there would not be any problems.

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