Are you responding like your parents or like your teachers?

Image by Nicole Hammonds — The Noun Project

There are 2 role models that shape how we respond in life. Role model no 1, your mother or father and role model no 2, the teacher who gave you the hardest time or maybe several who did.

Usually the way we were treated, when our parents and teachers felt we had done something wrong and gave their response to it in the way of punishment, ridicule or showing us up in public, is the way you now respond to situations in life. In particular your reaction and response to your loved ones, partners, siblings and children. You basically are copying what they did to you, to now doing it to those nearest to you.

Just stop and think for a few minutes and consider how you treat your nearest and dearest when I’m your opinion they have done something wrong.

Maybe have a think about how you react to drivers on the road when in your opinion you believe they have done something wrong? A tiny bit of road rage, maybe a lot of road rage? How did your father react to drivers when he drove you around or maybe your mother? Did they curse at bad drivers, at certain models of cars, at cyclists, pedestrians, older drivers? Does any of this ring true?

Your conditioned mind reacts without warning.

Of course those 2 role models weren’t the only conditioning systems. The press, radio, TV, films, friends, yourself, society, governments, social media all have a role to play. It’s not your fault, your organism has to take in all the information through your 6 senses, eyes, ears, taste, smell, touch and lastly and most importantly your mind.

For all the information you receive you have to create new neurons in your brain and possibly pathways that wire together to form a new experience and when repeated often enough they will form an experienced subconscious. An experienced subconscious will react automatically and that is what I call the conditioned response. It makes perfect sense to me and when I have been noticing my own conditioned responses, I know they definitely exist.

Some examples of conditioned responses I have noticed in myself:

  1. When out cycling on the road and car drivers racing past me, it fills me with rage and at times I will present to them my middle finger.

I’d like to share some resources with you below:

Dependent Origination Audio Teachings by Andrea Fella a teacher at the Insight Meditation Centre in Redwood City California. She explains things in a wonderful way and it really resonated with me and I hope with you too.

Andrea is a co-guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Center and the Insight Retreat Center. She has been practicing Insight Meditation since 1996, and teaching Insight Meditation since 2003. She is particularly drawn to intensive retreat practice, and has done a number of long retreats, both in the United States and in Burma. During one long practice period in Burma, she ordained as a nun with Sayadaw U Janaka. Andrea is especially drawn to the wisdom teachings of the Buddha. Her teachings emphasise clarity and practicality. Andrea is also on the Governing Teachers Council at Spirit Rock, and she teaches residential retreats for IMC and other retreat centers around the country.

A simple one page download summarising the 12 elements of the continuous Dependent Origination cycle that we all experience, everyone on planet earth without a single exception.

Adapted by Michael de Groot

Any questions of course feel free to reach out via comments or get in touch via my contact page.

Originally published at on July 7, 2021.

Whiteboard Animations Producer, Storyteller and Podcast Host at Staying Alive UK Storytelling Productions |

Whiteboard Animations Producer, Storyteller and Podcast Host at Staying Alive UK Storytelling Productions |