Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Tale of one Low and one High


Hugh grew up in a fundamentalist family that made obedience to authority one of the cardinal virtues. His parents taught him to be “mindful” and “respectful” of authorities.

Hugh is what his parents want him to be – a lot like them. His worldview has been profoundly shaped through being indoctrinated by his parents in their religion. His family goes to church at least once a week, usually more. He and his friends regularly attend the church’s youth group. He believes that the Bible is the revealed word of God, and the people he trusts the most all say the Bible is completely true.

Hugh was taught that the world is a dangerous place, full of people who will hurt him or lead him astray. Powerful evil forces could lie in ambush anywhere. But he will be safe if he stick with his own kind. Thus, Hugh has taken a pass on nearly all activities that goes against the family’s values. His possessions, friends and activities are all monitored by his parents, even though he is nearly 18 now.


Louise comes from a family that is much more egalitarian than most. Her parents’ goal in child rearing was to make her a critical thinking individual that can handle any problem that may arise in life.

Her parents tried to guide her with advice, always supported her, and provided a secure base of love, from which she could explore the world around her. Louise was taught to value equality and cooperation.

Louise did not learn that authorities are always right, and her parents openly criticized both religious and political authorities. She did not learn from her parents the Truth, but that she’d have to figure it out for herself. Questioning religious dogma was encouraged.

Louise was not raised with well-defined in-groups, nor was she taught that “different” people are probably dangerous and evil. Louise has a diverse set of friends, some of whom are almost her “opposites”.

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