Has your environment molded your mind?
This isn’t a story of the Osteens though the scene opens with them; I’m just using them as an example.
Joel Osteen talked about his father being born into poverty in 1921. As he grew older, into his teens, he decided he hated being poor and set out to do something with his life, and he became successful.
If you aren’t familiar with the Osteens, his son, Joel, now pastors the megachurch in Houston that his father started many years ago. Although John Osteen passed in ’99 the church has grown stronger.
It’s not that John was a pastor that made the difference in his success. He could have sold insurance, or make-up, or cars. The difference was his will to succeed where his passion was.
First, he decided what he wanted, which was the important part. The decision. Second, he set out to do it because faith without works is dead.
Joel said a person can adapt to their environment. He said his father didn’t want to adapt to the poverty around him. He wanted his life to be different in a good way.
You see, whatever environment you grow up in becomes a part of you. I see this all the time around me. A lot of the time, children of successful parents become successful, as well. Why? Because they live in a success-oriented home.
Children of poverty-stricken homes live similarly as they grow up. Many students that live in hard environments are in Special Education. Why? Because they don’t get enough nurturing to become balanced, and they learn to take help rather than depend on their own ingenuity and power to obtain their own way. Something they see their parents doing. Sadly.
The place you spend a lot of your time you become like. Children that are hard to manage at school, walk around in flocks. They attract the same kind of friends because they see a mirror image and feel familiarity.
Our environment molds our thinking. Our attitudes. Mostly because it’s your daily life, what you see every day becomes your normal. In some cases, normal is chaotic and dark. It’s really not normal but people grow accustomed to it and they learn to accept it.
Therein lies the problem.
It takes a strong determination to break the cycle of poverty and negative thinking. A person doesn’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden be changed. Unless. Unless they have the determination to do so.
Wait. Do you mean a person can change themselves and their environment if they desire to?
Of course. And the good part is it’s easy.
But it does take an effort to think out a new plan, Stan.
Plan and do. Plan and do.
I am more than sure John Osteen ran into many hardships and probably wondered if he was going to be successful at times but he overcame and conquered.
This gives me hope. This gives me hope for a certain young student of mine. He’s had life hit him hard and I hate it for him because he has a sweet personality. He is a good-natured child.
I remember a girl giving away puppies in front of the grocery store one day. The precious puppies were so tiny. The momma of the puppies was there, too, by the girl’s side, watching her babies being given away to strangers one at a time. The momma looked nervous, almost frantic.
Instantly, needles pricked my heart and I felt a tinge of pain for her.
Why did I choose to come now? I thought.
Lucky me (sarcasm), I was there just in time to watch a couple walk up to the store. The woman impulsively grabbed one of the babies. They looked very haggard and they both had the look of people that use drugs for recreational use. Sorry. The only way I can explain it.
My heart sank to my knees as the two argued about getting the puppy. She wanted it. He didn’t. My heart was shouting, please noooo!!!!
I had to walk away from this horror movie before it got worse.
No doubt, some of the puppies went to good homes to be spoiled, to good food, warm beds, and tons of love. Others will be tied to trees, hardly ever touched, and never walked or loved on.
My student was born into a ‘tied to a tree’ environment.
I pray he’ll be determined to overcome it as he grows up because I see potential in him. He can become something great, I think. All it takes is for him to think the same for himself, know it for himself, and into becoming it.
Same for all of us. The power lies within us; it’s not anywhere else.
Remember what I write here this Christmas season and into the New Year. Renew our minds as time renews itself.