I am having one of those “What’s the point?” kind of moments. And truth be told, this question has come up a few times recently. I guess it is something I need to pay attention to!
Let me give you a couple of current examples. The presidential election, the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline), mandatory vaccinations, immigration and climate change.
Each one of these topics and events are pressing and visible in our country right now. Each one is polarizing. Each one has people taking sides. There are multiple perspectives that exist along an extensive continuum. Both for and against. Pros and cons.
And I am just like everyone else! Trying to get my voice heard amongst all the noise and drama. Adding my two cents into the mix, trying to slide the weight of the issue toward the side of the spectrum that feels most aligned with my personal view. Trying to influence others around me toward that which feel ‘right’ to me.
But why? What is the point? Do we actually shift or change the outcome of these situations by defending, promoting or stating our opinions or perspectives? Is anyone actually even open to shifting or changing perspectives? Or are we all just tooting our own horns to hear ourselves speak? To know, confirm or remind ourselves of what we already believe.
There is a HUGE part of me that is afraid of what the outcome of these situations means for humanity and the planet. That by being quiet I am contributing to the demise of our human and personal rights, the planet and our sustainability, and our seeming commitment to violence, war, and separation. That by abdicating my voice I am accepting an outcome, even if it goes against many of the things I value.
And who knows which direction these things will go! But I can feel the fear. I think about how history continues to repeat itself. How the pendulum always swings to the extreme before it changes course.
In this lifetime I have seen the change in how we discuss, interact and negotiate with one another. I remember when negotiating and compromise were valued skills. Where facts were more valuable than lies, innuendos and opinion.
But it seems we no longer value these skills or abilities. It is an all or nothing game.
And the worst part, when I think about this.., is that I have bought into and I am doing the same thing!
I read an article about ‘bias’ this week (by Buster Benson in Better Humans on medium.com). One of the things that really resonated with me was this: “There is just too much information in the world, we have no choice but to filter almost all of it out. Our brain uses a few simple tricks to pick out the bits of information that are most likely going to be useful in some way.”
His supposition was that because we are so inundated now, that we have to use our bias as a way to quickly process all the information. Otherwise we become overwhelmed. I am sure you’ve probably heard that there is more information known and discovered in the last 75 years than in the rest of recorded history. We have had to develop new coping mechanisms.
This makes sense to me… But it also points out two things. 1) Allowing my bias to automatically filter and influence my response is in conflict with one of the things I value most… Intentional Living. And 2) Fear sucks as a motivator.
Now I need to focus on being more intentional while also staying aware of when fear is lurking in the background! Man – sometimes this trying to stay conscious is a lot of work!
With Light, Love, and Laughter