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Human nature or learned behavior?

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Yesterday, as I took a walk in a park near my house, I wondered if taking things for granted was part of human nature or a learned behavior.

I moved close to this park 4 months ago. It’s a great park, with fields, playgrounds, and walking trails. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the dog for walks in this park. Yet my kids don’t seem to appreciate how fortunate they are to live so close to a park that offers so much, and I wonder why? Did I fail to engage them enough to want to explore this fantastic area? Are they just too involved in their own things since one is a teenager and the other a preteen? Or are they just too busy with everyday life responsibilities and (electronic) distractions. I’m still not sure.

I then started to wonder if we lived on a lake or near the ocean if the awe of living so close to something so many of us desire would wear off? Do the extraordinary things become so routine that we forget to appreciate them, as much as we did ,when we first were given the opportunity to enjoy them?

Is taking things for granted a human characteristic or is it a learned behavior from living in a world and society that offers so many gadgets, and things to take up our time and keep our attention?

(Continued Below)

This week many people are left without power. My parents are on day 5. I lived without power for 15 days during January in Maine, when the ice storm hit years ago. Funny how we normally don’t think twice about walking into a dark room and flipping a switch to turn on a light, or how the idea of flushing a toilet could be such a big deal, until the power goes out.

It seems that it is during these times, when some type of catastrophe — natural, weather, man made — hits, that we are reminded of how much we take for granted on a daily basis.

What do you take for granted? Do you think this is just part of everyday life or is it something that is learned? Or do you try hard not to take for granted the many wonderful things that our world provides for us? Share your thoughts here.

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1 comment

1 Lynn Guca { 11.29.11 at 10:19 am }

Unfortunately, I think it is something we learned. There are so many things available to us today that we just take for granted things will be there when we need them. Being my age (which I will not disclose) I have learned over the past 3-4 years NOT to take advantage of this world we live in. I tell myself daily that we have to live each day to its fullest and be kind to everyone you encounter because you never know. I know I do!

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