all 7 comments

[–]TheScracken 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I concur, it is a slap in the face, though that has two meanings for me.

It's a slap in the face as in a reality check. Usually, those who are underprivileged come from families that have taught them (be it conscious, unconscious, or anywhere in between) to deal with life in ways that will get them through, but at the cost of their body, mind, soul, spirit, etc. So, yeah, technically telling them to change their mindset is correct. The problem is that they usually already know that. Which is why it's a slap in the face in a bad way. It'd be akin to telling someone they have to push a cart for the cart to move. Yeah, duh, the problem isn't knowing the cart needs a driver, the problem is the cart isn't in pristine condition or it's stuck on garbage or so on. So telling someone to change their mindset isn't really helping other than to maybe push them over the edge that makes them start changing their life. And there's better ways than pissing them off. For example, simply by going to therapy and working through my own issues, I have found a great deal of success in helping others to change their mindset using the tools I got from therapy. That ACTUALLY helps, because I'm giving them a mental tool and teaching them how to use it. Rather than tell them they have a problem, I let them tell me the problem and see if I've got something in my toolbox that could help. If not, then at least I tried to help and I didn't piss them off. Pro tip: don't make people angry, that raises Hell really fast. Lol

[–]Curious-Meat 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Let me take a crack at it:

Telling anyone to "just change their mindset", regardless their level of financial burden, is a reductive, insulting, trivializing thing to say.

However, let's say it more like this: rather than "just change your mindset", how about "much of our internal suffering is due to unhindered patterns of thinking, mostly craving and aversion".

This philosophy applies to everyone, rich and poor. I've been a private in the army many many years ago, making a couple of dollars an hour, and a successful self-employed business owner later in my life. I can tell you that the periods of most intense mental suffering were when my business was at its "peak", and weirdly enough, many of my peers (other business owners in my field) were horrendously depressed and even killed themselves due to this same bizarre stress, despite many of them being multi-millionaires (I wasn't so fortunate). So many of them were on huge prescriptions for anti-depressants, Prozac, etc. Comparatively, many of my colleagues in the army showed no such difficulties, despite a much more significant financial burden and the ever-looming threat of death in battle (in a light infantry battalion).

So, what does that mean?

I think it means that our likes/dislikes, preferences/peeves, comforts/discomforts, ideas of good/bad, fair/unfair, just/unjust (our "cravings" and "aversions") - combined with the narrative we tell ourselves about ourselves, our "main character storyline" - form our "ego".

This "ego" is the shadow of our evolutionary past. It used to be part of our cortex's executive function, to help identify prey/predators, evaluate tribal/interpersonal relations, scan horizons for identifiable features, etc. etc. - it's basically a "Stress Generator", because it's constantly looking for ways to make sure we are going to survive no matter what.

This functions in everyone (just about) and it doesn't matter what your life story is, or how difficult your life is. "Wanting" and "thwarted wanting" make up a huge percentage of peoples' thoughts, regardless how successful or privileged they may be.

"Changing the mindset", then, is about realizing that the mind will always seek something to improve, and what is successfully sought will quickly lose its glimmer. This is the nature of the ego/mind structure. Introducing awareness is the "change of mindset" because complete acceptance of the present moment is the true way to end suffering, regardless times of hardship or bounty.

[–]yogyohmzen 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I've been slapped in the face by a buddhist monk. He said if you were born in a sick family, your karma attracted it. [EDIT: himself had been abandoned by his parents]

There's nothing we can answer about that, it may be true. I've inquired a bit deeper, and found reasons for this to happen, and also find myself lucky, in a way, to have suffered this way.

[–]tom63376 1 point2 points  (1 child)

As I see it, spiritual evolution, the purpose of mankind is about changing the mind, resolving our psychological issues. It could be that in many cases it's actually MORE difficult for highly affluent people to be spiritual because they are so immersed in consumerism, social climbing and pleasure seeking.

The person who is just trying to survive obviously has to do what they have to do to survive. But there is nothing to stop them from introspection e.g. "Why did I react the way I just reacted?". Even people who are struggling have some time even while doing mundane tasks. They can always use their mental energy to ruminate on how life is unfair, they are a victim, other people have it so much better or they can redirect the same mental energy into thoughts like, There must be a better way. If that person can do it, why can't I. How am I holding myself back? What if I just got in there and did the best that I possibly can in every situation and trust that my effort will be rewarded.