What sets you off? You know…, those little experiences or events that make something inside you go POP! Psychologically, these are called triggers— a stimulus that evokes a response pattern. Triggers have been used intentionally to activate sleeper spies, to provoke an argument as a deflection from the main point, or to tantalize a young lady through a simple touch. Unintentionally, we respond to buzz words (Jesus, @#$%, whatever, thank-you, nigger, jerk, etc), déjà vu situations, anger, aromas, and sounds that draw up recollections pleasant, or not so pleasant, from our past. Triggers set us off. They ignite something within us that changes our behavior for good or ill.
Some personalities explode upon the stimulus of a trigger. Other personality types (most notably, Brits) respond with a greater degree of civility, at least externally. Neither is more/less mature that the other: they are merely factors of personality and cultural propriety. The more “restrained” person merely has learned to put a lid on it, though seething animosity continues to ferment within.
Beliefs are quite another matter. They are the guiding principles by which we manage our lives and perceive the world around us. They tend to be systematic morés, firmly ensconced at the foundation or our being: they are, for the most part, consistent, cohesive, and compelling of the way we live. Here, too, triggers can have an effect. Some external experiences can rekindle our beliefs to become more fervent and play a more dominant role in our lives, like a blatant injustice, or a natural catastrophe, or genuine remorse for real guilt. Other triggers, like an insatiable lust, or desire for revenge, can demolish the connection we have with our beliefs in an instant. Though the beliefs may still be intact, they now offer little comfort or compass to regain our bearings. Triggers, clearly, can have a positive or negative effect on any of us.
But the questions I want you to grapple with through this emPulse are these—
- What are your triggers? What sets you off? Positively? or Negatively?
- What does it take for you to get so mad that you will finally DO something and make a difference?
- If Jesus railed at the market-vendors He found in the Temple and drove them out with a whip, but sat still as a prostitute cleaned His feet with costly perfume, why do you believe you must always respond with the same demeanor to all situations?
Now, if you are content to live a simple, unruffled, composed, calculated, cautious, and calm life, just ignore all of the above. You have other issues to deal with.
Have a nice week.