I have a distaste for when people chase the appearance of results (or symbols). Most notably is when parents make their kids say things like "please and thank you." These parents think "my kid just said the words, so that means he must be kind and considerate, right?" Wrong. While it's true that all kind people usually say please and thank you, it is not true that all people who say please and thank you are kind.
I feel like too many people focus on symbols way too much, which in turn leads them to forget about the purpose behind them. We focus on the symbol and then mistake it for reality.
- We mistake saying "please and thank you" for kindness.
- We mistake being busy for being productive.
- We mistake good grades for the ability to learn.
- We mistake getting married for a happy relationship.
I often see people trying to chase the former because they think it must mean the latter. I also see parents and schools trying to push kids to achieve the symbol. The funny thing is that the more they try to force the symbol the more they stray away from what they really want.
I think this is tragic.
Stop chasing symbols.