- Thoughts for inspired living

Conditioned Not To Pay Attention - Grasshopper

Is there any doubt that the condition labeled ADHD has been diagnosed with alarming and increasing frequency over the years? The fact that many people even know that acronym confirms the point.

I’m not any sort of physician, so please take what I say next with a dose of salt. My contention is, it’s a misdiagnosis in too many cases, too numerous to count.


It seems to be a one-size-fits-all-assessment for people who have a harder time paying attention than is the norm.


Side Note: Take a historical look at televised cartoons and movies from the 50s until today. What you’ll notice is that the cuts from one camera angle to another or from scene to scene are quicker and more abundant as we’ve progressed through the years.


Does that signify that the film makers and cartoonists knew our attention span was getting shorter or did they employ these quick cuts to connote action? My guess is it’s the latter. But either way, we were being conditioned to have shorter attention spans.


Show me a child who stutters, and I’ll show you one or more impatient parents. They weren’t born stutterers; they were conditioned. “Out with it, out with it” was one of the phrases emphatically shouted at the child whose response wasn’t quick enough for the annoyed adult. Did the parent have ADHD or were they just being an impatient asshole?


How many folks have you heard self-diagnose themselves as ADHD? “My ADHD keeps me from being able to concentrate.” It reminds me of a story I’ve told before.


I was a radio program director for several years. One day I heard one of my DJs let a song run out followed by some dead air. It’s happened to every DJ that’s ever lived, but it’s normally a rare occurrence. It happened to this guy twice in 10 minutes.

After his show was over, I invited him in for a chat. I said, “You had dead air twice in 10 minutes on your show today.” What he said next astounded and amused me at the same time. He told me that his doctor diagnosed him with ADHD and that’s the reason he was having a problem concentrating.

I said, “Let me ask you a question off the topic. How are things going with your new girlfriend?” He said that everything was fine, and, in fact, they had moved in together. I then asked, “This is none of my business, but do you have any concentration issues when making love with her?” He laughed and said that everything was fine in that department.

I then told him that ADHD wasn’t selective, and he needed to pay more attention to his show. The instances of dead air immediately ceased.

Attention deficit disorder is being offered as a justification for our shortcomings, rather than taking responsibility for them. We make excuses for others and enable them in the process. “Oh, she’s just high strung” or “He’s just a boy being a boy.” By manufacturing excuses for ourselves and others for not paying attention, we keep the not paying attention conditioning alive rather than exploring a path of reconditioning.

Again, I’m not claiming ADHD doesn’t exist. My contention is we’ve been conditioned that it’s not our fault that we’re a scatter brain, and as long as we keep making excuses, it will remain our refrain.

All the best,

Hear the recorded version here.

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