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Another Day in the Country

Resetting the default button

© Another Day in the Country

Change is the order of the day with Mother Nature, and sometimes it’s a lot of work to keep up with all the shifts in our world.

Even before our births, these computer-like minds we were given began the wiring process to help us deal with change. Our default program was being put into place, and along with it was a reset function.

My default was a German model, with early programming begun right in the greater Ramona area. My grandparents and their parents before them were good, honest, fair-minded people. I’m grateful for their lives.

However, even then, amongst these good people there were deep veins of prejudice in their view of the world — their default system.

There were ethnicities they viewed as “less than desirable.”

There were religious beliefs that were “error,” while their own convictions were “truth.”

Cloistered in a rural area where outside information was sparse, their default, that original programming, stayed pretty much the same.

Their challenging circumstance was surviving. Did a man survive the rigors of providing for a family? Did a woman survive childbirth? Did children survive contagious disease? Surviving took a lot of energy.

Change occurred. Wars were fought. Tools were improved. New ways of doing things were invented. Diseases were conquered.

Information about a larger world came in by print and telephone lines. The birthrate of new ideas was mindboggling, ever more complicated.

Like the folk who believed the world to be flat and then discovered roundness, we all are continually asked to take in new information and update our belief systems. I call this “resetting the default.”

My parents reset their default button when they got married.

They joined a rather new church. Living in an area where community was built, sometimes almost exclusively, around religious belief, they found themselves “outsiders.” They didn’t fit in.

There was an inherent intolerance of difference on both sides. All of this was very hard to talk about, even in a family.

Gradually, my folks circulated with folk who believed just like they did. They stopped resetting their default system somewhere in their early forties and a lot happened after 1955.

The whole subject of discrimination in our melting pot society, for instance. Who was going to be “less than” in a democratic society? Was equality only freely available to European males or was it truly for every person? It was way past time to reset the default.

We’ve all been immersed in some form of discrimination from childhood. Depending on whatever brand existed in our environment, we picked up our default system like water soaking into a paper towel.

We didn’t even know we’d been programmed with a knee-jerk reaction. Those original implanted notions could still be a correct piece of information 50 years later.

Then again, maybe not! Hopefully along the way, depending on where we live and how much new information we assimilate, we see the necessity for punching that reset button.

It’s an ever-expanding Universe and there are many viewpoints within the circle of humanity for consideration. Our original system is in constant need of updating about everything from men to manners, women to work ethics, what is a healthy food or a dangerous chemical. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes the reset is easy. Sometimes it’s difficult, even over the simplest things.

I remember learning over 50 years ago how important it was to use the accurate name of a Brazil nut instead of calling it the moniker I’d absorbed as a kid. It took concentrated effort to change the default.

That concentrated work of resetting the default, on a variety of issues, is really vital.

Since most of us now live a cut or two above survival level, enjoying what our ancestors would have called luxuries, perhaps we could do some introspection, entertain a new idea, ask some questions, so that we can discover where our default systems needs an update. Is it immigration or gun control? Is it abortion or gender rights? Is it politics or religion? Is it about truth or propaganda?

Perhaps its past time to dive deep and talk amongst yourselves. Be brave enough to push “Reset,” on another day in the country.

Last modified Nov. 2, 2017

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