Synopsis : Imprinting a child with positive or negative thoughts can make all the difference between a good person and a bad person later when he grows up. The blog looks at the reasons why people tend to imprint a child negatively and how it impacts the child and the society in general later sometimes in tragic ways.
We often hear the word imprinting without really understanding what it means. The experts will say one thing while the common people may say that it perhaps means it has something to do with printing and may use the word incorrectly.
What it really means is that some ideas are imprinted on to the brain of a child when his brain is like a blank slate where the adults imprint their own belief system so that the kid grows up believing in them. This is done by most adults who think that they know what is best for their kids and only they should decide what the kid gets to learn and what he should not.
They do it in many ways. One way is to repeat a lie over and over again until it imprints and later turns into truth as the adult sees it. This imprint once firmly registered in the brain makes the people believe in it and nothing can convince them otherwise. The politicians know very well how it works in their favor when they repeat a lie over and over again to their constituents who then start believing it and will follow the politician no matter what others say.
We have seen this pernicious effect on the gullible people who went to ransack the US capitol and put many people in harm’s way by attacking the policemen and others believing that the election was stolen so they have a right to protest even violently. They have been told that the earth is flat, the vaccines are not necessary and it may make them impotent, that all Mexicans who come to the country are rapists and criminals, that Asians and other minorities are inferior people who steal their jobs , that black lives do not really matter, that the policemen are just doing their jobs when they step on the neck of a man who is gasping for breath and dies etc.
But to make people believe in something, they must get started with the kids who are innocent and absorb anything told to them as the Gospel truth because they trust their adults who are supposed to know better. Kids are extremely vulnerable to this imprinting process but adults are not immune either. Most of the voters in America believe what the preachers and politicians tell them even if the common sense tells them otherwise.
This is the bread and butter of the fundamentalists who imprint their sadistic and horrible belief system on the young and the old through their mullahs in numerous mosques and through the Internet site they operate so we saw thousands and young men and women who joined their ranks by running away from their homes to go to Syria and fight their Jihad against all the infidels. They thought they were doing God’s work so what could be so wrong in that! They were not children but were vulnerable just the same who later found out how the terrorists had imprinted on them a falsehood that meant to kill and torture people in the name of their belief.
Some were horny women who were promised glorious sex and a chance to meet horny bearded young men with sinister looks on their face but found themselves becoming sex slaves who were shared by everyone like candies, beaten when they refused submission and even killed because they were disillusioned to see the horror in person and wanted to run away.
In some Moslem countries they run Koranic schools called madarsas where the kids are taught hate for the non-believers so that they could be trained as Talibans later on to go on Jihad and kill their enemies. They are told that it is a holy cause for which they should be prepared to die so that they will go to heaven where 72 horny women called Huris will take care of them forever.
So numerous terrorist groups have sprouted all over the world some home grown and others who have been influenced through the propaganda using the Internet. The children thus imprinted are the most difficult to reform later so in all religions, the adults work the hardest on the kids because their brains are like soft clay where ideas can be easily imprinted that later hardens into strong belief.
We have all heard the horrible cult followers of one sinister man who asked them to commit suicide in Jonestown in Guyana one day so they all took poison and forced it down on their children as well so there was a mass murder in the name of belief. Such persuasive power of one man over thousands has meant disaster because nothing good comes out of it. Just take the example of Nazi Germany where Hitler imprinted his ideas on people so negatively that it led to the world war.
Goebbels was not called the propaganda master of Hitler for nothing. He made killers out of ordinary people of Germany who joined the SS because Goebbels made them believe that they were doing their patriotic duty to kill the Jews and the gypsies.
This process of imprinting is practiced by many adults worldwide who try to make their kids in their own image or like them. Some succeed as was the case of one of my classmates in college who was an extreme example but not all adults succeed in imprinting to the extent they wish.
A kid who grows up developing a strong personality begins to question what he is taught at a certain age and may not follow all he has learned so he may take a different course in his life. I know of a Hindu woman who is reading the Koran in the Internet and learning what she can learn from it. It is not clear what she will end up doing eventually but her mother worries.
In the animal kingdom, all animals try to teach their young ones what they must learn in order to survive in the wilderness. The song birds for example teach their chicks how to sing. The chicks that have lost their mother cannot sing because they learn by imitation. Sometimes they imitate other birds or even humans like the parrots, mynahs, and cockatoos etc. who are natural mimics. The young seal cubs who hate to swim are practically forced by the mother seal into water to teach them how to swim.
Young cheetah and leopard cubs are taught to hunt by their mothers because it does not come naturally to them. If you get them very young then they will follow you around like a puppy and will not learn to hunt and live in the wilderness by themselves.
But we think that we are smarter than the animals and birds because we get some education, training and develop our own individual personalities that defines who we are. This identity is often tainted by the belief system imprinted on our brain since childhood by the religion our parents belong to.
Only those people who do not practice any religion and profess to be atheists can escape the imprinting but they suffer a great degree of ostracism, persecution and marginalization by those who are the religionists and who consider the atheists as a threat to their system.
There is a famous song of John Lennon called “Imagine” where he sings how wonderful the world could be if there was no religion anywhere but unfortunately the fundamentalists in America burned his posters, his LP records and one person took it upon himself to kill him one day.
The animals imprint on their young ones because they try to make them learn the fundamentals to survive on their own when they grow up. But we do it not for our survival but to propagate our faith whatever they may be.
This impulse to propagate our faith through any means brought mass slaughter of innocent people during the Inquisition in Europe and Latin America and persecution of those who were of different faith and different culture. Many such persecuted people found a safe haven in America but it continues even today in many parts of the world.
I would like to see a child imprinted with knowledge that will help him become a smart and decent person in the future who can teach the next generation what he has learned so that the whole society benefits. A smart computer expert father who teaches his children mathematics, computer knowledge or programming early can make future Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. They were not born geniuses but learned along the way what they needed to learn to become genius. Kids with high IQ learn anything faster than those kids who are not so smart but they too can learn given half a chance.
Some parents encourage their sons and daughter to learn about aviation so later they can become pilots in the air force. Some teach their children the love for biology and chemistry or other sciences that can produce in them Nobel laureates later in their life. The love for education that Malala’s parents taught her made her a proponent of education for all girls and boys later and the Nobel prize that she received was very well deserved by such a young girl.
I would like to see a child imprinted with love and compassion for others who are not like him so that he can treat everybody equally without discrimination, hate and blind beliefs. Apathy, racism, discrimination, ill treatment of women , sexual abuse of young and vulnerable people , jealousy, greed, bullying others, cheating, thieving, taking advantage of others for personal gain, deceit, double standard etc. are very nasty things kids learn from their adults at a certain age through this process of imprinting.
A child who learns vulgar and hateful language at home will talk like them. If his parents teach him all the bad things I mentioned above, it will profoundly affect the kid and he may even go out and shoot some poor Asian women like in Atlanta because he was taught to hate the Asians.
So the negative imprinting will have a negative effect and the positive imprinting will have a positive effect on the kid. This is where we humans are different from the animals. The animals and birds never teach their offspring negative things. They only teach them what they need to learn in order to survive. Animals do not hate other animals naturally and are known to show extreme compassion for other animals in trouble and try to save them. We could learn a lot from the animals because we do not show compassion to our own kind .
Now we are entering the era of artificial intelligence that worries me. Soon they will develop computer based algorithms that will be able to study the brain pattern in humans and translate into thoughts that can be read by the computers. This means that we will never be able to be private anymore.
Our privacy must be guarded from the prying eyes and computer algorithms because it is our last bastion that we value and want to preserve but it may soon come under attack. It may also negatively impact the very young ones by interfering with their brain and the thought process and may make negative imprinting easier creating monsters in the process.
Imagine if the military schools or the ROTC people could program the brain of a cadet and tell him to go and kill someone in another country, it will be the same as creating a robot army that does not think but can be manipulated from a distance through electronic means. They will be no different from the mullahs teaching young kid hate of infidels and the love of jihad to become Talibans of the future.
Some birds learned to talk trash in a zoo somewhere that embarrassed the visitors so the zoo keeper transferred the trash talking birds to an isolated area but birds do not know the difference between what is trash and what is not so they can’t be blamed. We as humans should know the difference and should be responsible for how we talk and how we behave with others.
Sadly I see many trash talking men and women here who are so toxic that it boggles the mind. What imprinting they had when a child?
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