Appreciative Approach to Development part 3: Recruited into Approach

Recruited into Approach

You are recruited into your beliefs about yourself, other people and the world from the beginning of your life. The factors that shape a person are too complex and varied to be described on a singular theory.

Parents and others often star a story about a baby as soon as this conceived. The circumstances surrounding the conception will have at least two stories, one from each of the respective parent’s families. Each family will also have beliefs about their own family member and the other parent as well as about the relationship of the unborn baby’s parent’s relationship. There will also be a story arising out of how the pregnancy unfolds built upon the existing narratives. These stories will be influenced by broader culture and family culture and beliefs.

The behaviour of the baby in the womb will also give rise to stories based upon beliefs, biases and expectations. By the time the baby is born there are already some narratives in place. The birth and then actual presence of the baby will invite further elaboration and enriching of these narratives.

As soon as the baby is born it becomes a partner, albeit not aware in the shaping of the life drama. How the babies innate temperament and consequent behaviours described, will determine how it is responded to be its caretakers. The material, physical intellectual and emotional resources of the parents, as well as culture and beliefs will all continue to be part of the babies emerging themes and habits of being as well as the parents as they interpret and make sense of their own and their child’s behaviour.   How they experience their own performance in the parenting role, the effects of the change in family membership, and what is evolved for them from their own personal narratives and family histories, all of these factors impact on how they respond to the role.

The confluence of all these influences creates what people experience as limitations on their scope for free-choice. Two examples can be used to illustrate how his works. An experiment was done to quarantine Giant Mackerel in the main pool where they were going to end up being kept rather than in a separate tank. This was achieved by placing glass walls in the tank to separate them from the rest of the fish. When the walls were removed after the three month quarantine period, the fish continues to swim within the same boundaries that were prescribed by the now absent glass.

When elephants are tamed, they are chained to a post. By the time that they are rendered docile and tame, they can be tethered to a twig and it will have the same effect of restraining them and the sturdy post. The giant mackerel were conditioned to operate as if they had limitations in their scope of movement. The elephant are conditioned to operate as if their power is limited or curtailed.

There is a traditional story about a boy who observes two wolves in a fight. He asks his grandfather which one will win. The grandfather replies, the one who will win is the one that has been better fed.

These examples provide good metaphors to show how people develop through experience and interaction with the environment and also through the habitual choices and investments on a cognitive emotional and behaviour level that shapes their experience and beliefs about themselves, others and the world.



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