Re: DSM: We like minded people 2

Dana Bennis (
Sun, 05 Nov 2000 02:21:20 -0500


I have spent a great deal of time reading the emails of the past few days,
and it has been difficult to fully comprehend them. I am still unsure to
what extent I understand what you, Joe, and others are saying . . . but
something about the discussion has struck a chord (or is it "cord"?) with

Robert, are you saying that influences from society condition us to do
certain things and become certain people, and that therefore we can not be
truly honest, but only can display false honesty? So that we think we are
being honest to ourselves yet in actuality we are only responding to
external influence or stimuli. If so (or if not I guess!) I
whole-heartedly agree. To me it seems that the importance of this
statement is momentous. It recognizes the powerful conditioning influence
of society . . . And it would be wonderful if people could throw off or
even never let in this influence, and instead be truly honest to oneself.
If this is possible, then people would be able to follow their self and
their heart - forging their individual paths and not following in the paths
that have already been created and traveled on. (please disregard that
hanging preposition if it bothers you!)

I am not certain to what extent you were saying that, but those are some of
my thoughts.

Could it be possible to ensure that children would forge their own path and
not follow another's? How? And very importantly, would that be denying
the children their freedom to choose what to do, be it follow society (even
though that might not be a conscious choice) or follow their own self, OR
would it not be infringing upon their freedom and instead allowing them to
be free to be true to their own self?

These thoughts are certainly for anyone to make a response.

Dana Bennis

(and Robert, I loved your last email about loving to be with children as
they are mentors for you. . . I feel the same way as you).

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