We've all heard the phrase "You can't teach an old dog new tricks!" but is it true?!
At what point do you and I become "Old dogs" that are beyond the hope of trick training?
Is it possible for us to stay young and fresh, however old and frail our bodies become?!
Anth thinks so...
Anth continues to comment that there are two things that can hold us "old dogs" back and they are Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias.
Cognitive Dissonance is the resistance to uncomfortable truths, in which we'd rather ignore the truth and stay comfortable than embrace reality and change.
Confirmation Bias is the direct influence of our desires on our beliefs and when it is engaged we believe the things we want to, and consciously or subconsciously find the evidence to support the beliefs we've already chosen.
It's clear to see how these two factors could throw a spanner in the works of our process of growth.
"Confirmation Bias suggests that we don't perceive circumstances objectively, we pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices. In doing that though we become prisoners of our assumptions."
The story of Peter, a first century Jew and his dinner-related vision provides a great example of an old dog learning new tricks! This fisherman was well acquainted with his cultural and religious traditions surrounding animals that were pure and impure and therefore those that could be eaten and those that were to be avoided. The story goes that Peter is hungry and has gone to the roof of his house to pray. In a vision, Peter sees a sheet coming down from heaven with all sorts of animals and hears a voice that tells him to take and eat. Obviously Peter protests, telling the voice that he's never eaten anything impure or unclean. The voice replies "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
Anth points out two fantastic things - Firstly, the sheet came from heaven (whatever and wherever you think heaven is!) and then returned to heaven... so the animals that Peter had thought were unclean were clearly acceptable to the divine! As Anth comments:
"Heaven obviously didn't have a problem with what was in the sheet!"
Secondly, the voice specifies that God had made these animals clean...not that he had just changed his mind and called them clean...he'd made them clean!
Peter was faced with a Cognitive Dissonance as his history clashed with an invitation to recalibrate his thinking to accommodate a new way of seeing the world.
"Something had shifted, something had happened to cause all of those things that could have been a no-no to become a yes-yes!"
But this recalibration was about more than broadening Peter's menu options. His traditions not only considered certain animals and foods unclean, but he was also forbidden to cross the threshold of the home of anyone who wasn't a circumcised Jew, as they too were considered unclean Gentiles.
What are the lines that you've been brought up not to cross?
Who have you been taught is unclean, inferior or impure?
Peter's lesson on the roof was about to become a revolution in action as the servants of a spiritually hungry, Roman Centurion called Cornelius, knocked on the front door, asking Peter to return with them and be Cornelius' dinner guest!
Hours before, this wouldn't have even been an option for Peter, but this old dog had learnt new tricks and his fresh revelation empowered him with the freedom to embrace new opportunities.
JOIN THE QUEST!
Use the links below to watch or listen to RECALIBRATE YOUR THINKING and then feel free to send your thoughts and questions to us here!