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What is your ‘Default’ Setting?




Evening Times Editor

My daughter asked me something the other day about something she saw online while doing a history assignment on the Cold War. It was about the Cuban Missile Crisis and she wondered why the whole situation got so out of hand and I basically said it was because both Kennedy and Khrushchev had their default setting on “I must win” and tensions got high.

It got us to thinking and talking about how we are all wired with a “default” setting — an unconscious mindset that drives how we both interpret and react to the world around us without really thinking about it.

Myself, I had to admit, seem almost always prone to go with sarcasm in response to something, good or bad, almost without realizing it. I just do it. I have at times even caught myself immediately after saying something cynical when it wasn’t called for and said, “Stop, let me walk that back…” (probably avoiding some big problems


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if I’m being honest.

My daughter, on the other hand, is almost always turned “on” — as in “Let’s go!” — for whatever it is that’s happening.

“Hey, do you want to…” and she’s already said “Yes” in her mind. Spur-ofthe- moment fishing trip?

You want to play tennis?

There’s this movie I’ve been thinking about going to see? Yes, yes and yes…

I’m not like that. I want to be as uncommitted to everything as I possibly can, to a fault, if you ask my wife.

Speaking of my wife, her default setting is “Mom” — even if you’re not her kid. For folks like her, their default setting is “How can I make your life better?”

Unfortunately, for others it’s, “I’m miserable so I want everyone else to be miserable, too.” Oh, you’re happy? Well, that’s too bab because if you hang out with me, I’m going to do or say something to change that… yuck!

But my absolute least favorite is the “That’s dumb” crowd. Those are the ones that, for whatever reason, go straight to anything they are not a part of or into being bad.

I once read a quote that said, “The worst kind of person is the one who sees someone being excited about something and then explaining to that person how that thing is stupid.”

Star Wars? Baseball?

Traveling? Stamp collecting? You like that? Well, that’s dumb. What a waste of time, right?

Yeah, don’t let that person steal your joy, and definitely don’t be that person. If you are, check to see if your default settings need a little adjustment.

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