A note about behavior and attitude

In U.S. each state has its laws. One reason is because not all Americans have the same attitude, behavior or belief. In her book “Ten Interesting Things About Human Behavior“, Suzanne L. Davis explains how you can change your attitude by changing your behavior:

Here is how it works. I used to live in Chicago, where it was illegal to carry a concealed weapon. Nobody I knew owned a gun, and most thought that guns equaled crime and the fewer guns in the streets, the better. When I moved to Houston, I learned that most Texans had very different feelings toward guns, associating them with personal safety, defense of the home, sport (e.g., target practice, hunting). The first time I visited my next-door neighbors, I was introduced to their gun collection, which was displayed in a quite impressive gun cabinet.

I was puzzled. I couldn’t reconcile the fact that my neighbors and many other good upstanding citizens owned and enjoyed guns. I was in conflict over what I came to Houston believing (guns equal crime) and how I was behaving (interacting with nice gun owners). Over time, I became more comfortable with the idea of citizens being able to carry guns. My attitude about guns changed to be consistent with my behavior.

This is a wonderful example about how we can change our attitude about something once we change our behavior. My attitude about Americans changed when I came to the U.S. and meet with many nice people. Some Americans I meet told me how their attitudes about Arabs changed when they visited the Arab world.

Isn’t hypocritical of us to feel normal to pick our nose but we feel disgusted when we see someone else do it. I know it is an ‘Ewww’ thing to write but don’t say you have never picked your nose.


4 thoughts on “A note about behavior and attitude

  1. I think meeting people from different backgrounds and even different parts of the country (such as the example above re: Chicagoans and Texans) is a great way to realize just because people believe differently about certain subjects (guns, eating meat, religion, politics) doesn’t mean they are all horrible. I love when stereotypes are broken, people talk and we learn from each other! Even if we never agree, there is much to be said for trying to learn the other’s perspective in order to better understand.

    Thanks for being part of that!

    1. If in the same family, we can find a good brother and a bad brother why we expect that a culture of thousands or even millions of individuals to be the same. Thankfully, I learned to judge people individually. I didn’t master this trait perfectly but at least I am still learning.

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