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SERWAN ZANGANA: Satisfaction with God’s Blessing is The Best Way of Thinking

While reading a book a friend gave me recently, Learned Optimism by Dr. Martin Seligman, a quote about “thinking” made me pause my reading and took me in a completely different direction.

Seligman wrote, “One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.”

From a modern psychological perspective, Dr. Seligman attempts to show people how to be optimistic. His goal is to educate individuals realize the things that they are in control of as well as what is beyond their control. He continues, “Many things in life are beyond our control-our eye color, our race . . .”

Definitely, by thinking about what is beyond our control, I began to think about the sex a person is born with. I believe that gender is included in those many things that are beyond our control. Indeed, many people agree with this position but unfortunately, gender has become a controversial subject. Some people have begun to think very differently about the creation of human beings.

However, the school of thought that “you can choose your gender” has becomes a major issue when proponents of that mindset insist that is a fact that everyone else must embrace. Clearly, just because one group believes something does not mean everyone else is going to accept it.

It can be agreed that a new way of thinking might change some aspects in our lives. However, we must distinguish between the things that are changeable and in our control and the things that, despite human attempts, simply are not. For example, if I think that I am a natural-born US citizen does not change the fact that I was not born on U.S soil. Regardless of what I think or loudly proclaim about my identity, to become a natural-born citizen is beyond my control as I was, in fact, not born here and will always be a naturalized American citizen only.

Moreover, human thinking can in fact be a delusion yet be embraced by some as a fact. Yes, there is no doubt that our way of thinking can change our direction as long as we act within logic and based on reality. For example, it is possible for a 40 year-old, or perhaps someone older, who has never run before to change his or her way of thinking and become a marathon runner… if there is plenty of mental preparation and training. However, despite one’s best intentions, it is impossible for this person, despite his or her new way of thinking, to outrun marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, who made history when finished the Berlin 2022 marathon in 2:01:09.

Also, our way of thinking can change our attitudes, ambitions, and set a new or different goal from what we had in the past, but it cannot change our gender – or indeed our age. Regarding sex-change operations, which are advocated by some groups, such procedures are clearly an alteration of human beings and a superficial change of a body.

The term “gender” has been wrongly-defined and misinterpreted to a degree that it now causes  confusion for many people. Once a person encounters reality and sees the limits of such thinking, they are likely to develop depression, anxiety, or some other psychological issues – which can lead to extreme dysfunctions including the tragedy of suicide.

Therefore, satisfaction with one’s body, gender, and the life that was given to us by God is the best way of thinking as we go through our days. We should all clearly embrace the meaningful words of scripture that tell us, “He created them male and female, and he blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.”  – Genesis 5:2

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.


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