Sep 17, 2008

On the Myth of Geographical Cures

I was speaking recently with a young man who was somewhat despondent over a series of poor decisions he made. The legal consequences of the events were relatively minor, but nonetheless this person finds himself with extra court hassles that could have been avoided by: a) not horsing around in the middle of the night; or b) not associating with persons of ill repute.

But it was his summation of his current state that caught my ear:

"I just hate this town," he said. "I wish I could just pack everything up and move 2000 miles away."

Ah, I thought to myself. The perfect example of what some folks refer to as the geographical solution or geographical cure. Following the illogical reasoning behind this fallacy, a person need only relocate to a distant quarter to find peace of mind and an end to life stressors.

Those of us who have been around the proverbial block - or who in fact have pulled up their tent stakes in search of a better place - know that our problems tend to follow us wherever we go. In the case of the young man above, his affinity for late-night thrill-seeking, expensive toys, and friends in low places will continue to plague him, at least until such a point as when he realizes that such habits bring with them unwanted results.

So I gave the following advice, for what it might be worth: until you fix YOU, a change of scenery will at best bring only a week or two of respite. The established character flaws to which we cling continually haunt us, that is until we make conscious decisions to change our ways.

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