Communication Element #3

Authorities

An important communication element involves what you initially know as pain and punishment. They say experience is the hardest teacher: She gives the tests first and the lessons later.

Your primitive concept of what is good and bad comes from the society and the world around you. You learn from those who you perceive as authority figures, whether they be elders, teachers, policy enforcers, politicians, government officials, referees, pastors, coaches, etc. 

You learn there are rules to everything and you are expected to live and play by those policies and rules. Whether the rules and policies are good or bad is irrelevant in the beginning because you are at the all-encompassing information gathering stage. 

You sometimes test the boundaries to see if the punishment is real or if the rule will really be enforced. An example is when a child who is told to not touch a hot stove because it will burn his or her hand. The child touches it anyway, experiences pain, and realizes mother was right. 

However, sometimes you discover mother was just playing with you when she told you to stop crossing your eyes or else hey would get stuck that way. Okay so you tested this rule or theory and nothing happened, but mother is usually right, so you decide that just maybe that next time… better to be safe than sorry.

All in all, you know you are still protected by the people of your home base, especially mother, so you can safely test these limits without a great deal of fear. 

These learning experiences, usually not life threatening at this time, become part of your frame of reference for future purposes. This term “frame of reference” will be seen often because it is the basis from which everyone communicates.

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