The Social Mirror
You might have been told a few times that the world is your mirror? Well, Stephen Covey explains that if that is the case than the image being reflected back to us is very distorted. Stephen says the mirrored image the world reflects back at us is distorted because it provides input to us based upon what other people are projecting on to us. This projection includes their own character flaws and weaknesses.
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So think about it: Are your perceptions/paradigms [map(s)] determined by social conditioning and conditions? These visions are often disjointed and out of proportion (Covey, 1989). To help us clearly see ourselves and others, we need to understand that there are three (3) social maps–theories of determinism–that determine the nature of man, namely: genetic determinism, psychic determinism and environmental determinism.
This theory explains how our grandparents played a significant role in shaping the vision we have of ourselves, as well as the vision others have of us.
If you are quick to anger, for instance, your grandparents had short tempers and it all comes down to your DNA (Covey, 1989). These traits are hereditary and you inherited them from your forefathers. Moreover, you may be Zulu, and that is just the perceived nature of Zulu people.
Do you have any traits you would state originated from your grandparents? If so, which ones?
So, do you remember being a young child? Do you have fond memories of your parents or home life when you were little? Well, this theory offers that your childhood experience and upbringing laid out your personal tendencies and character structure (Covey, 1989).
For example, you may feel guilty if you make a mistake because you 'remember' the emotional scripting when you were vulnerable, tender and dependent on your parents (or parental figures) deep down inside. You remember the emotional punishment, rejection, or comparison with somebody else when you did not perform as well as expected. So basically, your parents did it to you (Covey, 1989).
Can you recall any childhood experiences that shaped who you are and what you stand for?
Do you live in a noisy home filled with siblings running riot? Does your boss at your part-time job give you hell about the smallest issues or troubles in the workplace? Or does your significant other stress you out by seemingly "being on your case" 24/7?
The examples above illustrate how this theory describes how we are. Essentially, someone or something in your environment is responsible for your situation (Covey, 1989). If the government in your country does not meet or exceed your expectations or partakes in "shady" dealings you deem unacceptable, you will be less inclined to talk favourably about the party in question with others and will be less likely to take part in political activities. Their behaviour/actions have affected you and your outlook on politics.
Every stimulus has a response, but we have the freedom to choose how we respond from a range of responses. You can discover your internal power through: a) Self-awareness; b) Imagination; c) Conscience; and d) Indep-endent will.