It is a fact of nature that you get more of what you reward.
It doesn’t matter if you’re training dogs, raising children, schooling horses, or developing social and economic policy.
Evidence of National Ignorance
Two facts are glaringly obvious to anyone who knows the slightest thing about being a leader.
- Leaders in government, education, and faith missed the first day of class in Psychology 101. They are ignorant of the basic relationship between rewards and results.
- People who support these relationally illiterate leaders are ignorant themselves. They continue to reward bad behavior without knowing that they will only get more of the same.
To be fair, there may be an exception to my conclusion about wide-spread ignorance. These same leaders may be lying to us and are actually rewarding the very things they say they are trying to eliminate.
PROPAGANDA – What lies behind us and lies before us are small matters compared to what lies right to our faces.
You Get More of What You Reward
Pavlov was one of the first researchers to study the principle we know today as operant conditioning. Simply put, operant conditioning uses reinforcement or reward to increase the incidence of desired behavior and the use of punishment (dis-incentives) to reduce the incidence of undesirable behavior.
During recent decades there has been a huge increase in funding for public education, health care, and welfare programs of so many types it would take a book to list them. Pouring more money into a problem often equates with legitimizing the issue and accepting responsibility for the problem itself.
We have gotten more of what has been rewarded. Public school performance is at an all time low. More people are on food stamps and unemployment than at any other time in history. The very use of the word entitlement rewards sloth, indolence, and poor leadership.
Nearly half of the population in the USA depends on money from the government. Why? Because the government rewards dependence in order to get more power over the population. The only other explanation is ignorance.
BAILOUTS – From each according to his ability, to each according to his lack thereof.
The President of the United States is treating you like a dog
President Obama isn’t the only leader who treats us like dogs. His campaign for reelection is founded on the principle of operant conditioning. If you properly interpret the speech of many politicians, union leaders, and preachers, you will hear something more akin to a dog trainer.
“C’mon boy. C’mon girl… sit up… sit up… speak! There you go… want another cookie? Speak! Good boy… good girl. Okay, now lie down. Lie down. If you want another cookie you’re going to have to lie down…. there you go. Yummm.”
Whether ignorant or diabolical, our national leadership must go. Responsibility and accountability must be sent back down the food chain from the federal level to the states; from the state to the precinct; from the pulpit to the household; and from the public to the individual.
I was a successful horse trainer for decades. My horses and my dogs do not beg for cookies. I give them treats because I love them. I have too much respect for them to reduce them to begging. To do so would say more about me than about them.
Nothing has changed in equine or human personalities. Science has repeatedly proven the relationship between reward and behavior. Quit being ignorant unless you like sloth, indolence, and begging for a cookie.
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Read more about worthy leadership in Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace. Click link here to visit Lynn Baber’s Amazon author page.