You want to study behavior? Do you have what it takes? Do you have any idea what you’re getting yourself into? Do you have the backbone? the drive? the guts?
If you’re about to go into sociology, or psychology, or library science, the last thing you expect to hear your guidance counselor sound like is a marine drill sargeant. But the truth of the matter is that studying behavior is not for the faint of heart.
Sure, the way it’s taught today is pretty much like milk toast. And the real reason your parents cringed when you said you were going in for Philosophy was because they figured you’d never get a job. (Were they right?)
A true student of behavior has to have the guts to get deep within someone else’s mind. Asking questions no one else has the guts to ask. For instance, what was subject S’s childhood like? Did they feel abused in any way? How and what does S feel sexually, gastronomically, and intestinally? How does S deal with daily events, and how do these get evaluated, if at all? Hardest of all, how do I, the researcher of S, get the true answers without having S know I’m even asking them?
Forget S now, let’s look into the behavior of T, our country. I’ve got history to read, and plenty of magazines and popular opinion. How do I know who to believe? How can I wade through this quicksand of quacks without getting lost? And to what degree does my own upbringing influence all these answers? Is it even possible to imagine the future of T without bringing political agenda and special interests into the mix?
Oh my, forget about S, and T. That’s the simple stuff. It’s time for the ultimate letter subject, U. U is the most difficult subject you will ever encounter. Within U is the answer to many very personal questions, the answers to which will probably cause you great embarrassment. Relationships defined and analysed to agonizing detail: siblings, parents, pets, first love, and the ultimate relationship, U to U. For you are U. And your relationship with yourself is the ultimate test for a student of behavior. Can you look inside yourself and dissect, with machine-like precision, every aspect of your life? your thoughts? emotions?
If you can’t, perhaps you’re not tough enough for this business. But, as your drill sargeant, I know you can do it.
Yes, U can.