“Familarity Breeds Contempt”: Why You Should Embrace Change
Change is scary.
But if I had to apply a lesson my mother always warned me about (that’s always been useful to me in how I’ve craftily learned how to ration myself out with people in the game of “people”)–it came in the form of a quote where she always warned me in 3 words:
Familiarity breeds contempt
That being said, while I still believe (know, and have experienced); familiarity does breed contempt, but in the change of time since she gave me that lesson, it doesn’t (when there is pretense advantageous in place of where contempt of that which is common and familiar would normally be)….
Oh. I’d better explain that huh? Okay:
The advantage of us being young, wild and carefree is that being just that: Young, wild, and carefree, we don’t have the capacity to assess the valuation of things (and people) around us and in our lives (or even ourselves for that matter) when we are young, wild, and carefree. But as we mature, we find that some things we once did or the people we once held dear tend to fall by the wayside-no rhyme, or strife…BUT…there is a reason for that: They have had their season(s), and as we evolve from our naivete to sophistication, we too become: seasoned (to various degrees).
As we become seasoned, we then have the capacity to evaluate the things we do along with the people in our lives. And at that point, we come to the conclusion: Their value in our lives (and if you’re “people” smart) your value in theirs.
That being said familiarity breeds contempt when there is no equal vested interest: emotionally, mentally, financial, financially, or spiritually (in that you bring peace/voice of reason/comfort) in relationship, be it male-female, BFF, or whatever.
There has to be a reason or purpose for you in someone’s life and too (if you’re “people” smart and serious about self-preservation) there has to be a reason for the people in your life, too.
Obviously (for the) “love” of it goes without saying, but the reality is: There is a reality over “for the love”of anything or person. And the reality has to have a reason (in order to hold it’s value)…you know…to avoid familiarity breeding contempt.
We’re human and emotional human beings.
Contemptuousness is quickly put in check wherever there is value.
Where there is no value, when contempt is present, scorn and contempt will see you out the door and expendable as the trash we throw away.
So it’s always best to know that it is true…those 3 words my mom taught me: Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Those 3 words should be like a light bulb that goes off in your head…because reciting those 3 words should get you on your good foot–force you to make changes that are of value to you and the people around you/in your life.
I love analogies as visual examples.
There is a movie-an urban classic-called “Hustle and Flow.” I happen to LOVE this movie for so many underlying reasons. But here’s one (as an example about dynamics of change).
In the movie, the main character (played by Terrence Howard of Empire) was a street hustler who had dreams of being a big time rapper.
Long story short, by chance (self-fulfilling prophecy/law of attraction or whatever you wish to call it) he met people who served his intention (Anthony Anderson and DJ Qualls )
Eventually this rap thing took off, and they set up home studio.
So…the dynamics of Terrence’s “pimp” life took a back seat as he focused on being a rapper.
With that being the case (as it pertains to this write-up) CHANGES were soon gonna come!
What were those changes?
As everybody took their places in this dream of his, Taraji (the pregnant “h0”) unexpectedly got a piece of the dream because they used her as an impromptu hook singer (on the song they were working on: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”).
That left Taryn Manning (who started to complain that everybody had a function in this and she wanted one too-she wanted to “matter”).
She couldn’t sing.
She couldn’t rap.
She sold sex for a living so: while eyeing the particular mic he wanted (but couldn’t afford), although with trepidation, Taryn did what she did for a living for him anyways, and that microphone was secured, okayyyy?
But from there, while complaining about wanting a piece of the dream in greater value than what she could provide, Anthony Anderson gave her one: “Hit them fans,” he told her. And her “function” in this dream was to cut the fans in the home made studio off before recording. It became her “value” to the dream and plan in his life right now.
(As it pertains to this article on change and familiarity breeding contempt, again: As value is created, contemptuousness is put in check)-so she earned her stay and keep (along with Taraji).
That left Paula Jai Parker. She had no role is these changes of Terrence’s (the pimp turning rapper). He was concentrating on rapping now. So the very moment she got sassy at the mouth-she was thrown out. She had no value at this point in his “evolution of life.”
Her “familiarity brought contempt.”
This is a movie, sure. But that’s how we humans do.
That’s OUR “wild kingdom” –as an animal’s Wild Kingdom is: killed or be killed/survival of fittest.
That is how we socialize, survive (self-preserve) evolve, and change.
Taraji had the baby.
Terrence did a short stint in jail.
Taryn? She was later in the business suit, negotiating and taking care of business so that when Terrence got out, the dream could continue.
Now you can SEE where I’m going with:
“Familiarity breeds contempt” (but) value puts contemptuousness in check.
Change is necessary to expand ones horizons in order to explore options and other experiences that are advantageous to our minds, bodies, spirits and lives.
Changes is MANY things. Hence the word: ChangeS (plural)
Here’s a good article on (what I think is the foundation of change-generally speaking) that you may find helpful to you.
As well (and as side note)…I LOVE the image chosen for the article. It is photojournalism at it’s finest: a butterfly changing from the snail at the very moment it cocoons-getting ready and set to pretty up, fly away, and experience life anew!
Change is about as drastic a difference as a snail and a butterfly.
How do you feel about change? We generally fall into two camps: those who like change and those who, well, hate it. I personally like change. It keeps me feeling challenged, interested and alive. But if your natural reaction to the idea of making a big shift ranges from mild nausea to all out terror, here are a few things you can do to drop the fear and embrace the change.
Try changing your perspective
Change is growth. Have you learned everything you need to know? Have you tasted everything, experienced everything, attempted everything? Chances are there’s more out there for you. Decide you’re not done yet.
What if… ?
One of the biggest reasons we don’t like change is all the what if’s that come with it. What if it won’t work out? What if it’s the wrong move or the wrong time? What if I lose what I have now? What if I fail? It’s in our nature to worry and wonder about the consequences of making a change. The best way to combat that is to take the what ifs in a positive direction and visualize the best outcome possible. Imagine yourself in your new role, new venture, new opportunity or new relationship and see yourself happy, successful, strong and wise. Or really stretch and open yourself up to the possibility of a new reality that’s even better than the one you could have imagined or hoped for.
Look for the turn signals
When it’s time to change, you’ll get cues. If you pay attention you’ll see the signals and messages telling you you’re ready. When I started teaching dance fitness, I was teaching 25 to 30 classes per week and lost my voice. My body gave me a clear message. I had two choices: I had to want to change or change what I wanted. I could reduce the number of classes or expand and train more people to teach them. That’s how the fitness business that became Jazzercise began. Today we have more than 8,300 instructors teaching classes all over the world.
Go for it
Don’t be afraid to take a risk. If you go out on a limb and the limb breaks, pick yourself up and climb a different tree. You’ll figure it out. But you have to take action to get the momentum started. You can’t let fear stop you from making a change. Ask yourself if it’s the change that’s really scaring you or just the idea of it. Then decide to stop interpreting the anticipation and adrenaline you feel as fear.
Once you know you want to drop a habit, move, start a business, go back to school, start or end a relationship, etc., get started. Putting it off just adds stress and the opportunity to talk yourself out of it.
To make change less fearful, make it a habit. Try something new or do something differently every day. Take a different route, introduce yourself to someone new, try a new food, learn something new at work, etc. Let yourself enjoy the thrill and variety and find the joy in succeeding where you didn’t think you could.
Make a plan — you know, in writing
No, really. Write it down. Just getting it out of your brain and onto something else (paper, doc, note in your phone) makes it more real and therefore more achievable. Your next adventure can reveal itself to you when you start penciling it out and thinking about next steps.
The best way to combat the anxiety that can come from taking on something new is to do your homework. Do the research, do the planning and ask your questions. Knowing you’re prepared to do your best will give you the confidence to reach for the next level.
Look for the lessons
Of course not all changes are for the better. Some will result in loss or sadness. Some are difficult. But all changes will give you a different perspective because you’re moving and growing. We usually gain the most insight from the difficult experiences and learn the most when we fail. Try to see each change as growth and take the lessons as net gains.
Make a conscious decision to open yourself up to change. Let yourself explore new avenues and find new possibilities. (cont’d)