What i have been seeing and hearing of so called ‘Human’ behaviour – across all forms of media lately – saddens, sickens and disgusts me. Accordingly, I wrote the following in the hope the idea might be shared and spread about in the likely forlorn and vain hope that we as a species might actually learn something from it and have greater tolerance for others with whom we disagree and perhaps even learn how to agree with, or at least not hate, anyone who is not like us in manner, thought or belief.
Every human being that ever lived, is living or will live in the future is a Unique individual in more ways that most ever realise.
Our fingerprints all differ; our thoughts (as a whole collection) differ – even if many of us agree on certain thoughts and ideas, none of us concurs 100% with another on everything, all the time; and of far greater importance than almost anyone realises, our ‘on-board’ collection of around 150 trillion microscopically sized inhabitants (other living life forms with whom we share our physical, and most likely mental, bodies) are uniquely our own identifying us just as clearly as fingerprints can (if you know how to look!). This mass of largely inner inhabitants affects the way we think, even the way we are far more than is ever given credence or credit.
Uniqueness may be seen by some these days as a thing to be proud of, encouraged and/or cherished in us as ‘Individuals’ but it can be the cause of much friction (again some would say necessary friction, to avoid stagnation/loss of identity) within our shared societal lifestyle. However, in order to live peacefully and successfully as a group of whatever size, humans need to have some commonalities shared amongst them. Some of the most common ones for much of our civilisation include family, tribe, nation, culture (including myth stories and religion) diet, sporting associations (as in ‘my team’, or I’m a football /cricket /baseball /boxing fan, etc) and political associations (left wing, right wing, centre , liberal, conservative etc) as well as many, many others as our society’s grow ever more full of individuals.
Some of these commonalities we freely choose for varying reasons and some we have no choice over such as our family and another major cause of friction – skin colour!
The point i’m trying to make is: we are ALL different and this can make it hard to get along with everyone else we have to share our planet (or smaller areas) with for pretty much most of the time.
It is my carefully considered opinion that there is one major thing all human beings have in common (that has the potential to ensure all of us are more easily able to live in peace and harmony with everyone else) despite our many ways we can seem different – and therefore something to possibly be afraid of or go so far as to hate and even to try to kill or eliminate somehow.
That one thing?
It is our unique perspective; our point of view, based upon all we have experienced and lived through and learned from.
To be more accurate, what we have in common is that we all see things from our own perspective and we can have great difficulty seeing things from another person’s viewpoint, which to them is every bit as valid and ‘right’ as your own is to you. Some deliberately make the effort, many give up very quickly when they realise the other person is not going to change their view to agree with the one you hold, or worse, that you might actually have to change the way you think, which comes down to changing who you ARE.
What many do not take the time to realise is that your brain is hardwired to deliberately reinforce your own way of thinking or looking at things and so forces you into narrower, personal perspectives. The brain gives more attention to the things that it is currently in agreement with or chose to favour previously and gives less attention to anything that might upset the status quo – EVEN IF THE NEW INFORMATION WOULD BE OF BENEFIT AND BETTER FIT WITH ALL FACTS.
In this sense all humans are IR-rational, much as we like to think we are the opposite.
Realise, and consider carefully and frequently, that this IS the way your brain fundamentally works. It is known as Confirmation Bias* – when you become aware of new things and how they might affect you, you are basically biased to strongly favour your previous learnings/ state of ‘knowing’, while rejecting or weakly considering that which challenges it.
I contend it is only by recognising this fundamental shared truth that we can have any hope of living peacefully as One Planet.
To have an ‘Open Mind’ is, for most of us, impossible because of this inbuilt bias, which those of us who are unaware of it cannot over-ride, making it very difficult for us to change our thinking on virtually any topic and therefore making us more fixed in our behaviours or habits. Those who choose to close their minds and not even consider alternate points of view to their own condemn both themselves and everyone they have contact with to lives of conflict and an inability to agree or compromise so as to be at peace. (Other than those with whom they are inclined to find agreement with. While our family members are generally the ones we feel the closest connection and agreement with we all know how difficult it can be to find that level of agreement on every single topic on every single day of our life. It gets ever harder the larger group we try to ‘belong’ to/live with.)
* I have named this, more appropriately, our Bullshit Filter. Most might put the emphasis on the Filter part (bullshit filter) and believe we use it to remove BS from our view or thoughts. I choose to emphasise the Bullshit (bullshit filter) meaning the filter is both built from previous BS and detects/identifies in a BS manner that which we believe (often inaccurately) to be BS.