Let’s imagine for a moment that you were walking through a neighborhood you are not familiar with.
How would you feel if all the houses in that area had shattered windows and doors looking like Coke cans squeezed until the last drop?
If you are in any way like me, you’d feel unsafe and would probably want to leave that neighborhood faster than a sneeze.
Actually, some months back, I found myself in such situation.
I was walking through an unfamiliar community and I noticed that almost all buildings were in some state of disrepair. You know, stairs, doors or windows looking like broken promises!
There were some houses that even had entire walls dilapidated. Talk about wall-less houses!
All the while I walked through that neighborhood, I didn’t feel at ease. It was practically impossible!
Most especially not when my mind was busy painting pictures of how the broken windows came to be…
Sociopaths? Sledgehammers? Stray bullets…?
I know you might think that I am paranoid, but researchers discovered that neighborhoods which had buildings with broken windows were likely going to also have higher petty crime rates.
This led to a very interesting question: Were petty crime rates in the community causing more windows to be broken, or the broken windows in the community are attracting more criminals?
The answer to that question is pretty much like the ‘Chicken-Egg Paradox’: Does the Chicken come before the Egg or vice-versa?
Irrespective of the cause, broken windows are always associated with lawlessness and crime. As a result, broken windows in the community attract more petty criminals who would break more windows which would attract even more criminals who would break even more windows…and this can go on and on like the decimals in the value of pii!
In spite of the best efforts spent on improving the intervention and number of law enforcement agents, the antics of petty criminals in the community continued to be on the rise as though they were yeast-infested dough.
For some odd reasons, however, the researchers noticed that as soon as the broken windows were fixed in a community, criminals stopped associating the area with lawlessness – and as a result, crime rates dropped drastically! The fixed windows exuded the presence of law and order, and as a result, the criminals stopped perceiving the community as a crime hotspot.
These findings make up the backbone of what’s now called the Broken Windows Theory.
How The Broken Windows Theory Is Affecting Your Life!
The other day, I was watching an interview on YouTube.
A popular football club had just signed a player and a female journalist interviewed this new player alongside one of his new teammates.
The interview went pretty well because the two players had great personalities. I remember smiling at
the computer screen myself numerous times during the course of the interview.
As soon as I was done, I headed towards the comments section of the video (I do that a lot!).
I instantly regretted that action. It was like sucking unripe lemons – it left a bad taste on my mouth!
Over and over again, different contributors opined on how the interview looked similar to the opening scene in a porn movie!
Here were three intelligent and well-dressed individuals having an interesting conversation about football and the only thing that some people could see was an intro porn scene.
At first, I felt like a woman in the first few months of her first pregnancy. I was nauseated!
Then I became sad.
Apparently, these commenters had watched porn to the extent that their brains had learned to associate normal, non-sexual, everyday occurrences with pornography!
The keyword here is association.
Criminals were attracted to certain communities because they had learned to associate broken windows in a community with crime.
Viewers had watched porn so much that they were associating a normal discussion among three adults as pornography!
The whole point that the Broken Windows Theory tries to showcase is this: There is power in association!!!
[bctt tweet=”There is power in association” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
The Tetris Effect
If you’re old enough, I am sure you should be familiar with Tetris. You know, that game where you had to arrange falling blocks into empty pockets of space at the lower part of your game screen. If you were not able to do this fast enough and the blocks piled up so high that they were able to stop more blocks from falling, and it was game over!
Well, some scientists decided to have some more fun with this game.
Here’s the interesting thing that happened next.
The gamers started seeing everything around them like, wait for it…falling blocks!!!
Yes, blocks of every shape and size imaginable. It was terrible. I can almost imagine one of the participants just sitting there chilling and busy figuring out the kind of block that would fit into the space between two cars following each other!
However, you shouldn’t be surprised with the findings. It is the most normal thing that could happen.
This is why Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’
Here’s the truth: Your mind will eventually learn to associate with what you continually focus on; and ultimately, whatever you focus on continually would manifest in your life!
[bctt tweet=”Your mind will eventually learn to associate with what you continually focus on” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
[bctt tweet=”Whatever you focus on continually would manifest in your life!” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
But it even gets deeper than that.
Your location and associations are two things would determine what you would get out of life.
However, if you change your location without changing your associations, your allocation in life would still remain the same. An eagle that spends time with the turkeys would never soar. There is no true change that can occur in a man’s life without him changing his association!
[bctt tweet=”If you change your location without changing your associations, your allocation would still remain the same.” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
[bctt tweet=”There is no true change that can occur in a man’s life without him changing his association!” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
[bctt tweet=”An eagle that spends time with the turkeys would never soar.” username=”@MrPlateenum”]
In fact, it is safe to say your associations would go a long way in determining the quality of your experience in life. It’s not rocket science….
If you decide to continue associating yourself with porn and masturbation, you’d end up being useless to yourself and your society.
If you decide to associate with the Bible, personal development materials and tools of positive change, it’s only a matter of time you’d start seeing the fruits in your life.
If you choose to associate with 5 millionaires, with time, you’d be the sixth.
It also follows that if you associate with 5 idiots, soon, you’d be the sixth.
If you don’t like where you’re standing now, check yourself out, you might just be using the Tetris Effect to work against the Broken Windows Theory!