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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Can You Learn From A Racehorse?

I loved Coronado's Quest. He was a spectacular racehorse. A casual glance at him told you nothing. What was he really like and what can you learn from a horse? As it turns out, Coronado's Quest was a guidepost for me. A horse that pointed to the solution.

Coronado's Quest was a bad actor. He simply didn't like human beings nor did he trust them. His behavior was fantastically predictable. In fact, I won 20 bucks betting a friend that he would throw the jock off before entering the race gate one day. My friend was astonished. But I had seen this horse in action before.

D. Wayne Lucas, famous trainer, offered up the best explanation for his behavior. Coronado's Quest had received poor imprinting as a youngster. And whatever that was exactly, we will never know. The horse just didn't like humans. And he wasn't above biting them either.

The same cause and effect occurs in human beings. Poorly imprinted youngsters become unruly teenagers and sometimes criminals. When their rebellious ways fail to work for them, often they turn to alcohol and drugs. And you can be certain of one thing. Every addict and alcoholic I know hates authority. Not unlike Coronado's Quest hated jockeys.

The difference between Coronado's Quest and an allegedly highly evolved human brain might mean that we could correct this. But in fact, that is often not true. Just as Coronado's Quest was subject to a fear driven belief system that he accepted as true, so too is an addict or alcoholic. They both acquire belief systems that they cling to for the rest of their lives. Please be reminded that I am using alcoholics and addicts as examples here. All human beings are subject to the same imprinting, and not unlike animals, we are taught using basic reward and punishment themes. Therefore, some folks, quite sober, are some of the most spiritually unfit people I have met.

The problem with Coronado's Quest is that he simply didn't have the motivation nor the capacity to effect a change. And certainly, the reward his owners got was far greater than anything he might have received. So why bother?

The answer to the incredibly high recidivism and relapse rate among addicts, alcoholics, criminals, and prison inmates- and the same thing can be said about the majority of folks in this country- is that they were poorly imprinted. Unconscious, like Coronado's Quest, they simply don't know there is a better way to live. They simply go about their lives in some unconscious fashion, catering to their fears and self centered belief systems, hurting and damaging others along the way. They believe this is normal because they have never been exposed to anything better. And lacking the motivation or capacity to change, they don't.

There is a solution.