Sorry To Tell You This But You Have Cognitive Heuristics

No, it won’t ruin your complexion or thin you hair, but it can be a troubling habit. It’s this way we tend to remember our life more the way we want to rather than the way it actually happened. Just ask the love of your life if they remember that ‘first time’ exactly the same way you do….

On a personal level, a manageable bad habit. But on a national level, well, it often gets us the wrong person in office, gets us into the wrong wars, and in general messes up our priorities. For instance take the way we Americans spend our time and our money!

We like to think we’ve always lived the hard-sweating work ethic of our Puritan ancestors. You know, all that bravado about our blue-collar origins…the way we struggled our way up the American Dream…the back-breaking summer jobs and night jobs we knew as kids and young adults. I’ll tell you what — just listen to some of the folk tales around the next holiday dinner with the family.

I’m not one to kill all the gray-haired messengers who proudly bring these stories to the children. I mean, that’s what we seniors are supposed to do, isn’t it? Inspire the young…pass the torch…let the kids appreciate the dirt under our fingernails.

Only sometime these powerful narratives are heavy on the cognitive heuristics.

While my grandparents and parents could authentically tell these tales, my own post WWII generation — and certainly your post Vietnam generations — have incrementally lost the right with each new year of national prosperity. At my octogenarian perch and your thirty-or-forty something perch, our times were much fatter than our parents and grandparents.

Until now! Until the Great Recession!

Times are once again hard and hurting. Which means now WE get a chance to do what THEY did. Stay strong, hang in, and make it work….

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