Do you by any chance come with an operations manual?

Ever met someone who you clicked with, despite not having much in common at all? You might have been from different places, meeting up at the right time when both of you shared a common mindset, you know, the happy kind? Yet, have you also spent hours of your precious life on writing a CV? Well, you’re not alone here, and these two things could actually prove to be quite useful life lessons.

People usually do things whilst expecting something in return in good time. You wake up, because you expect the day to come and this day usually carries a tight schedule too, so you kind of have to get out of bed. You read books because you expect to gain knowledge or an entertaining time from them, you eat to gain pleasure or energy, and so it all goes on. While some of the things of life may be much more strategically carried out, most of them seem to “just happen” to people – meaning no further thought being necessary.

Yet, each year, millions of dollars are spent (eh, invested?) on the Niagara falls of self-help books, videos, conferences, instructions, programs, lists, tricks and quick fixes. This is because no matter how many great times has already happened in life and provided almost everyone with an invitation to reflect on these things, happiness always seems to be over there somewhere. That is, far, far away. The key aspect is that these issues people experience in terms of life crises and breaking points, all focus is spent on the external aspect of life – on how other people are happy, and how they have this and that.

This is ever so apparent in times of crises, as this current so-called migration crisis. Changes requiring action and rethinking something that isn’t longer applicable, whether that be national institutions, local housing or new cultural influences – these things are made to be a huge deal. Anything requiring even the slightest little piece of personal responsibility is turned into the absolute biggest issue on a national, even regional scale. Which is cute, had it not been for the negative consequences following such a mindset.

The fun thing about personal responsibility is that not many people like it, making the clap-on-the-shoulder when excusing (lack of) own thinking a perfect time for some group bonding. Group behaviors have been long studied by a broad range of psychiatrists and researchers have found how simple a set of behavioral tendencies are reversed, exchanged, terminated or enhanced by a rather small amount of effort, or input. The well-known Stanford prison experiment is one of the most quoted scientific experiment showing these apparent tendencies in human nature, and when the study was published in 1971,all shit broke loose.

Suddenly, safe stories and shoulder-taps couldn’t hold it against the big, bad scientist running into society with that thing called science, punching everyone in the face and asking the question “Do we really know ourselves?”

Scientist do, they try to tell the rest of humanity about behavioral tendencies enabling conflicts of all sorts, yet that sort of fact isn’t really fun to hear. Because, it requires that thing personal responsibility again and man, those things are hard.

Of course, not everything can be blamed on the individual, especially due to the massive gap of knowledge and information between authorities making decisions and citizens who have two alternatives to choose from – to accept these decisions or not.

The operations manuals written by scientists like those working at Stanford in 1971 are actually being taken seriously by some people, especially those studying or working in fields where human behavior patterns are crucial factors to consider.

But back to best-sellers. Interacting with other people, when being a nice experience, isn’t always being seriously taken either. Even in the good or great situations where awesome chats and other things happen, no personal responsibility (or very little) is taken for that act. Since research has shown that people tend to respond better to negative news and news involving tragedies, that’s yet another behavioral aspect of why the good things don’t get acknowledged, or minimally so.

In a big, bad crisis like this current one involving migrants and especially Europe as the welcoming region, all of these factors are interacting in creating a useless, negative atmosphere for the European population and for the migrant, refugees – for people. Although most European politicians are well aware of the fact that Europe is in desperate need of population growth, this knowledge hasn’t been successfully transferred to the European citizens. Although a legit argument is that this situation could have been handled much more smoothly, “coulda, woulda, shoulda” arguments always come in handy in times of change.

Writing a CV won’t be of use to anything other than maybe a job application. Yet, many people actually identify fully with the words written on that virtual paper, most often looking somewhat like a bad product description. It’s because you’re not a product, despite what quasi-philosophers try to tell you. You’re organic – like an apple but with a brain.

When two people with totally different CVs meet, they may find themselves actually enjoying to spend time together, despite these huge-ass differences. If someone shoves their CV up the other one’s face, then suddenly there won’t be much to talk about, and the nice evening may turn into a weird smile and an urgent phone call from the doctor/vet/grandma/favorite-“truth”-telling-political-party.

The useful life lesson to take from writing human operations manuals, along with ignoring some quite relevant facts about human behavior, is that only because someone says something – it’s not necessarily true. Yes, that’s about it. Think about it next time you have a conversation about the big, scary migration crisis hitting Europe like one of Mohammed Ali’s famous punches, and go find one of those human-like individuals to chat with – and leave the CV at home.

Did you ever find yourself in a situation where CV, facts or other things screwed up a situation?

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