Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's the thought that counts?

Just recently, I recognized, in operation, a key component to a certain theoretical construct of communication that I formulated, which is entitled, “Mental Elaboration Disassociation Theory.” This key component I termed “automatic thinking” is akin to the term "thought pattern," which is defined as habitual thinking in a particular manner, or making certain assumptions, positive or negative.

Mental Elaboration Disassociation Theory highlights the danger of avoiding direct verbal communication, through shortened verbalized explanations, which are uttered by the usage of popular clichés. The cliché is often used as an excuse to avoid engaging in direct dialog. Therefore, the logical explanation one might expect to hear regarding the subject-matter winds up being positive or negative assumptions through cliché yakety-yak. When no logical mental thinking is utilized, a verbal response will then be more often than not vocalized in the form of popular stereotypical clichés.

In any case, I have never been a fan of clichés. However, in 2008 I was forced to reacquaint myself with one of the oldest colloquial verbal expression─THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL: “It’s the thought that counts.” As the story goes, my annual microscopic interrogation appointment with a particular State bureaucracy begins. Those of us (John Q. citizens) who are licensed through the State or a private agency to help protect children would be quite familiar with it. The process is quite tedious and in many cases overly emphasized. For those of you who are not familiar with the process, here is a shortened version. The process is initiated once certain exchanges are in motion. You receive an application, and in return you give up your family tree album, your social security number, your State drivers license (identification), your fingerprints, your W2s, your piggy bank and the last dime you ever made for babysitting etc. In other words, your privacy, self identity and your sovereign rights are all pretty much gone, and in the hands of “big brother, having agreed to the terms and conditions of policy guidelines.” All the items that you hand over in this exchange end up in the hands of a bureaucratic person a.k.a. a social worker.

In my case, the exchange “sort of” paid off. I received a piece of paper that has licensed by the State written on it. As well, I received a favorably written biographical sketch of myself (i.e. a home-study). Reading this information regarding me would have been flattering, but it was too much information, such as untruths! So there I was, on the telephone, conversing with a social worker whom I will only identify as Ms. C. Anyway, I was trying to get her to correct these written untruths. I said to her, “There are errors in my home-study.” Not directly dealing with my concerns, she said, “Well, I gave you an approved home-study!” She assumed that I would believe that she was doing me a favor by writing my home-study, but the truth of the matter is that she is paid by the State (which is funded by tax payers ) to write my report. Flabbergasted at her response, I said, “No, you didn’t give me anything. I earned it by graciously providing you with material that conveys information I consider to be personal and sensitive .” Her response was so cliché. She uttered, “Well, It’s the thought that counts.”

In response to her uttering this cliché, I said, “My point exactly! The thoughts can either count for you or against you, and in this case, your written thoughts appear less appealing.” So in the end, I suppose this cliché bears some elements of truth. The thought really does count, but as far as how they count, that of course depends on how one thinks about it.

"And Jesus, perceiving the thought..." - St. Luke 9:47 KJV

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