I’ve started to think about and observe in myself and those around me,
how much of our activities..
Just how many of our choices.. are our choices.
Or more specificly, which of our actions are reactions – reactions being reflexive actions, fight or flight type decisions, knee jerk emotionally triggered conduct. These are our self preservation type answers.
And which of our actions are responses. – responses being slower actions, where an individual uses their thinking and rationale to analyze and weigh the variables of a situation, including considering the potential impacts to the involved individuals.
Reactions are primarily defensive in nature. My personal inferrence here is that there are many aspects that feed in to heightening our defensiveness. Potentially, the psychological impact of marketing in culture, in addition to other social pressures and human emotional vulnerabilities, leads to many people having reduced self worth, depression, self doubt and sometimes even severe negative self opinions. I think all of this has us believing that when we engage in discourse and discussion with others, that there is a sort of adversarial nature to it, there is some social jockeying for domination or self preservation. I am the one who must be right. My emotions and logic tell me so. Therefore we clench up and strike the blow to protect our fragile chrysalis. Don’t disagree with me, you are challenging my intelligence and social value! How can I entertain or consider information and ideas that MIGHT NOT AGREE with what I already think?
I think we can admit that it is easy to cherry pick our information to support only our suppositions and to pre-judge ideas, the old “To judge a book by it’s cover..” It is easy to react. We all do it. Often times we shut each other down because our impression of the idea being put forth is that it could disagree with what we already think.
Why are we protecting ourselves from this?
Does having the wrong idea about something lower our actual personal value?
Should it hurt us to look at information that contradicts our ideas?
I dunno, but I don’t think so. It feels unhealthy to let our tempers and survival defenses dictate our feelings about ourselves and others as well as to color the information that we allow in to our bubble.
It feels counter to the often simultaneously held claim of a stringent, religious belief in Science.
Science is a process of making testable guesses about the world and specific conditions or situations,
and then devising and executing tests to capture enough relevant data
so that we can compare our ideas against what we believe we have observed
and ultimately giving us the ability to revise and narrow our guesses and to potentially refine our ideas and thoughts on a subject.
Science is not about rejecting information because it could disagree with our held beliefs.
It is not about feeling bad because an idea we have held firm now appears to likely be untrue.
It is certainly not the evaluating or ignoring of an idea based on the superficial politics socially associated with it.
If it were, history would look a lot different and we’d have a lot of odd ideas that were convenient to not piss off the church or some political regime.
What can we do to de-escalate ourselves, to teach ourselves to de-escalate. To pause and think and potentially review and consume some words and ideas and then to consider how that weighs with what we think and believe we know.
Disagreeable ideas are not fugu. It is not ergot.
None of this is something that inherently by thinking about an idea causes you some irreverible damage, some poison from consumption.
I will evaluate several options that we can use to learn tolerance and a more friendly attitude towards information and science and report back with more of my blabber.
For now I’d bring it back to the breath for centering myself – Take A Breath. Take A Beat. Breathe Out. You are OK.
I want to learn and inspire folks to have a little more patience and respect for each other. Especially if you disagree.
We can’t continue the current trends of virtue signalling “tolerance” while concurrently acting intolerant of people with different ideas, rejecting and disrespecting ourselves and others in our quest for more “likes.”
Break the bell, my fellow Pavlovian dogs! – Let us flee the lab together before they cut our brains out for the experiment.
Shouldn’t we stop salivating for blood everytime some social power leverages us against others?
And the kicker is, at the end of actual tolerant discourse, is that you don’t have to change your mind. It’s not the goal.
YOU CAN STILL KEEP ALL OF YOUR ALREADY HELD BELIEFS!!!
( Can you believe it? )
Until next time, play some notes with some one you disagree with on something. Be loving my friend.