Little Albert and the Killer Bunny

Everybody likes rabbits, right? They’re cute, and cuddly, with their scrunchy noses and fondness for carrots. Most children would love you forever if you placed a rabbit on their lap (Unless, of course, it’s the killer bunny from Monty Python).

Back in the 1920’s there was a Psychologist by the name of John Watson. He had a theory that if children heard loud noises they would show fear. Furthermore, he believed that he could change the object that elicited the fear. This has become known as Classic Conditioning.

To prove his point, he gave a little boy, Albert, a bunny to play with.  The moment Albert went to engage with the bunny, a loud noise clanged behind him.  After a couple of occurrences  Albert became terrified of the bunny, loud noise or not.

Because of Watson, Albert became terrified whenever he saw a bunny. Experiments like this were also what led to an ethics board for psych experiments.

I think that we all have Bunnies in our lives. Things that make us afraid, or uncomfortable, because of an unrelated stimuli that we associate with it.

For some, the Bunny could be love, or trust, or snakes, or Jesus, or just about anything else. We were hurt by something and associate that hurt to a certain thing.

For myself, that’s certain dates. Certain dates have stuck with me, and whenever they come around, I always feel pain from the past. A few days ago, on the 6th, was the seventh anniversary of my last day of chemo. On February 19th I lost my friend Laura to chemo.

It’s not easy to release our Bunnies, let go of the pain, fear, and hurt. Yet, it’s something that we all need to do if we want to grow. I find that when I release my Bunnies to Christ, and let Him shoulder the pain with me, things are better. Christ lifts us up when we can’t stand on our own.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

-Isaiah 40:31


What Bunnies are you holding onto?  What do you need to do in order to let go?  

-Derek Hanisch


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