Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Here are three answers that surprised me when I saw them online.

There are a lot of weird answers to situations I've come across lately that took me by surprise. In this post I'm going to share three of them with you.

1) I come across an opinion that "people who are economically challenged (read as poor) may not be the best people for leadership." My take: This sounds ridiculous, and it sounds like it is also discriminatory. But...what answer do you have for this statement?

Their answer: people who have experienced poverty long-term probably have suffered a lot of trauma. Trauma over time rewires the brain. You can have personality disorders and other things as a result of trauma. If the trauma was severe enough, that person may not be the best to select to lead others. My take: Uh...damn...this caught me by surprise, and it actually makes sense. But can it be backed by evidence? I have no idea. But it still shocked me that the answer was so coherent.

2) Another opinion: do you want to know if someone is wealthy? Do they have a clean house? This is a better tell than their Gucci handbag. My take: wait a minute? I would think that conspicuous wealth is the Gucci handbag or the expensive bling. Explain yourself. 

Their answer: it takes a lot of work to keep a house clean. If they aren't doing it themselves, then they probably can afford a cleaner. Cleaners these days (just for one day a week) is about $800 a month. So, if they have that kind of extra-spending cash, it's probably a good sign that you're dealing with someone who has wealth to spare in order to hire help. My take: okay, I wasn't expecting that. But it seems like a good "tell" to see if a person you are dealing with has some extra resources lying around. Do they live in a clean house? Interesting.

3) Here's another opinion I read online: homeless people in Salt Lake City are getting more aggressive and it is making me afraid. Does anyone else notice this and offer an explanation? Here was my take: personality disorders and stress combined with low ability to emotionally regulate can make anyone aggressive (as well as hot summers). I think this is probably normal, but I haven't noticed an increase in aggression. 

Their answer: people are inherently tribal. The thing that keeps people civil is civilization. When civilization breaks down, people form tribes as small as two, and nothing else matters outside that tribe. That's the way people are. What you are seeing in homelessness is the breakdown of a society. Civilization isn't working for those folks, so being civil is also out the window to anyone who is not part of their tribe. My take: damn...once again...this answer surprised me. But can see this in war-torn countries where warlords rise up or where gangs take over when a state fails and collapses in on itself. People are tribal.

What do you guys think of these answers? Any of them shock your previously held beliefs?


  1. I don't think the first one is really true. Abraham Lincoln came from a pretty poor background. I don't think Clinton and Obama came from extremely wealthy backgrounds either. Whereas W Bush and Trump were from wealthy families.

    1. @P.T.: Just to clarify, I was talking about "poverty level" poverty and within a modern context. Neither Clinton or Obama qualify as that at all. There is a lot of evidence to support that living in poverty for years is trauma. And it wasn't a sweeping generalization. It was "may not be the best choice." The "may" in there is the operative word that there are exceptions on both ends of the scale.

    2. That's a lot of caveats there. I'm not sure that just income level is a deciding factor. It's really too broad a brush without any facts to back it up.

      For the second one I suppose that could be a tell though some people are just compulsively neat--not me, of course.

  2. Interesting. Where did you get these answers? Who answered these questions? I don't think I've been in situations where these parameters applied, so I can't speak as to these answers challenging my beliefs.


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