If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.
—Sent-ts’an, c. 700 C.E.
I was watching TED Talks last night and this one gave me something to think about: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives with Jonathan Haidt.
In the interest of full disclosure, change doesn’t really scare me. I do appreciate the importance of “change” versus “stability.” I think there needs to be a yin and yang between liberals and conservative. I think that EVERYONE truly believes they are correct in their beliefs, even when their beliefs conflict with their neighbors.
I believe that the majority of humans are good. I try to empathize with other people. I like trying new food. I watch videos like TED Talks, videos that question my views. I read a wide variety of books. And honestly, it doesn’t bother me when my pets think of me as an equal. LOL
I don’t think we can force people to accept change. I don’t think we can “reason” away acceptance. I look at social media and it seems like both liberals and conservatives are afraid. Fear leads to anger and bitterness, which leads to more fear and a divided society. The Internet has people who agree with whatever opinion we might have…even if we’re wrong. Seriously, there are people who believe that the Earth is flat!
I’m troubled by what I see. I’ve lived and worked with a diverse group of individuals for most of my adult life. I used to joke that going to work was like being part of the United Nations. Over the years, I’ve learned that people are more alike than different. But, I think, as a society, most of us don’t meet people who might be seen as “other” on a day-to-day basis. It’s much easier to demonize people we don’t know. It takes effort to talk to people from a different culture or background.
I’ve been cautious with how I spend my time on social media. I think it can be a source of good and place to spread hate. It saddens me to see so much division within my country. I’m not expecting anyone to change the way they see the world by sharing my rambling words and a couple of videos, but I think that each of us has something we can teach, and each of us has something we can learn.