How We BECOME Civil!

๐Ÿ™Œ I’M A SPIRITUAL PERSON…AND A SCIENTIFIC PERSON! ๐Ÿ™Œ

It doesnโ€™t have to be one OR the other; it can be one AND the other. โ†”๏ธ

I donโ€™t expect my spiritual friends to understand the complexities of science and the search for objective truth. ๐Ÿงฌ

But nor do I expect my scientific friends to understand the usefulness of stories and metaphorical truths to help someone live a better quality of life. โค๏ธ

The problem I see happening is when each side assumes malicious intent of the other. Each side assumes they are searching for the same definition of โ€œtruthโ€. ๐Ÿ‘

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง ๐›๐จ๐ญ๐ก ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ข๐ง, ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง’๐ญ. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

They both have very different epistemologies and methodologies for how they seek โ€œtruthโ€. ๐Ÿ˜…

โ†”๏ธ Science is focused on precision; spirituality is very broad.

โ†”๏ธ Science uses quantitative measurement; spirituality embraces the abstract.

โ†”๏ธ Science is focused on objectivity; spirituality is focused on subjectivity.

Unfortunately, each sideโ€™s misunderstandings of each other puts them both at odds. This miscommunication has both sides end up talking over each other. ๐Ÿ”€

It’s why it’s so easy for each side to label the other side as the “villain”. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Problems arise:

๐Ÿ“Œ When the spiritual individual misunderstands science and cites studies for which a scientist could easily deduct to be โ€œjunkโ€ or โ€œpseudoscienceโ€.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the scientific individual misunderstands spirituality and thinks the ideas that are taught are useless because they canโ€™t be measured quantitatively.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the spiritual individual labels scientists and the breakthroughs they discover as โ€œsatanicโ€ and โ€œunnaturalโ€.

๐Ÿ“Œ When the scientific individual labels spirituality and the rituals within these communities as โ€œdelusionalโ€ and โ€œwoo wooโ€.

In other words, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก.

๐–๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ฅ๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ง๐ช๐ฎ๐ข๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐‹๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž.

Let me add: Iโ€™m NOT saying I treat these fields as having equal usefulness. Iโ€™m NOT taking the middle ground here and saying both sides are 50-50. I strongly disagree with that stance. โŒ

I have my own personal views and stances towards each field, but thatโ€™s not what this post is about.

My point with writing this post is the same point Iโ€™ve made in so many of my other posts: ๐’…๐’ ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’˜ ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’˜๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’“. ๐Ÿ‘ถ

Am I saying a scientist or spiritual teacher cannot question authority figures or experts outside their dedicated fields? Of course not! Thatโ€™s how we learn and understand from the experts in their fields. It’s important we ask questions! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Hell, I’m not an “expert” in either field and I’m still writing this post! ๐Ÿ˜œ

But what I am advocating for is an open communication between the fields, to bring the best of both worlds to the table while at the same time understanding and respecting where the fields are going to irreconcilably differ.

โš ๏ธ BUT THIS ISN’T LIMITED TO SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY! โš ๏ธ

This can also be applied to the political sphere, when it comes to Democrats and Republicans, “the Left” and “the Right”.

Van Jones argued in his recent book โ€œBeyond the Messy Truthโ€ one of the biggest problems facing our modern politics is that political parties are no longer uniting under the ideals of Conservatism or Liberalism, to bring out the best of their parties. Instead, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข-๐“๐ก๐ž ๐Ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฒ. ๐Ÿคฌ

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt provided a similar argument in his book โ€œThe Coddling of the American Mindโ€ but in the context of college campuses. He cites instances where college students have forcibly interrupted and shouted down guest speakers they personally deemed โ€œoffensiveโ€. ๐Ÿคฌ

In one instance, a college professor disagreed with students about one of their social causes. Literally, student protesters surrounded him, screamed at him when he asked for a civil discussion, and demanded he resign from the university.

To put it simply:

๐ŸŒŸ ๐™‹๐™ค๐™ก๐™–๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฏ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™—๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š๐™™. ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™—๐™–๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™ข ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š๐™™. ๐˜พ๐™ฎ๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™จ๐™ข ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š๐™™. ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š’๐™จ ๐™– ๐™œ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™–๐™จ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™–๐™œ๐™ง๐™š๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ช๐™จ, ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™š๐™›๐™–๐™ช๐™ก๐™ฉ, ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™–๐™ก๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ.

๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™œ๐™ช๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ก๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™–๐™™ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฃ. ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ฎ’๐™ซ๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ก๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™›๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™–๐™™ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™ž๐™™๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ. ๐ŸŒŸ

And I wonโ€™t pretend Iโ€™m immune from falling into these mindsets either! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

Iโ€™m not here to claim moral superiority with this post. Just like anyone else, I need to remind myself not to fall into these traps at times too! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Itโ€™s why I donโ€™t blame you if you fall into them either. ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ™Œ BUT…IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐™„โ€™๐™ข ๐™˜๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™—๐™ž๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™š๐™š ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™š๐™ก๐™จ๐™š ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง “๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ข๐™ฎ”. ๐ŸŒŸ

It may be good for one’s online branding and business marketing to create polarization and division in the short-term, but it sure as hell isn’t good for humanity’s sake in the long-term. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Itโ€™s why we ALL need to be very careful about the environments we surround ourselves in, the people we choose to surround ourselves with, and what we choose to feed our minds on a daily basis. ๐Ÿง 

Itโ€™s not just about maintaining a healthy physical body but also about maintaining a healthy mental mind.

๐‘ญ๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’‹๐’–๐’๐’Œ ๐’‡๐’๐’๐’… ๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’”, ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’Ž ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’ƒ๐’๐’…๐’š. ๐‘ญ๐’†๐’†๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡ ๐’‹๐’–๐’๐’Œ ๐’Š๐’๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’Ž๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’”๐’Š๐’”, ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’Ž ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’…. ๐ŸŒŸ

Did you know Van Jones is close friends with Newt Gingrich? ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฆ. Van Jones is a Democrat and Newt a Republican.

Van Jones notes in his book they disagree more than they ever agree politically. ๐Ÿ˜…

But despite that, theyโ€™re good friends! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Why? Newt once shared with him this piece of wisdom:

โ€œ๐’€๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜90% ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’Ž๐’šโ€™ ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ โ€˜10% ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…โ€™ โ€“ ๐’๐’ ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’š ๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’• ๐’˜๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’†.โ€ ๐ŸŒŸ

Itโ€™s why I think Jonathan Haidt was also right, in the same tradition, when he said the greatest wisdom you can find is in the minds of your opponents. Your “villains”. The people you’re emotionally tempted label in your mind as โ€œpure evilโ€. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

โš ๏ธ BUTโ€ฆYOU AND I BOTH HAVE TO BE OPEN TO HEARING THEM OUT! โš ๏ธ

A few months ago, I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast where he interviewed Daryl Davis. Daryl is an African American musician who is known not just for his amazing talent on the piano but also for converting over 200 people OUT of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

On the podcast he went in-depth about how this all started. But the biggest detail which stuck out to me hearing his story was in how simple his solution was in reaching out to Klan members! ๐Ÿ’ก

๐ŸŒŸ ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’… ๐’„๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’, ๐’‡๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’…๐’๐’š ๐’„๐’๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž. ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’”๐’‰๐’๐’˜๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‚๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‘๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’” ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’š ๐’๐’†๐’†๐’…๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’‚๐’‡๐’“๐’‚๐’Š๐’… ๐’๐’‡. ๐ŸŒŸ

He learned what the Klan believed about African Americans, and he (again, respectfully) challenged their ideas. He invited many of them over to his house for dinner! And in turn, they even invited him to their Klan meetings! ๐Ÿ˜…

It wasnโ€™t long after that one of the top Klan members handed Daryl his Klan robe and said he was leaving the organization. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

๐—”๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐Ÿญ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ ๐—ž๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป!

And you know what, the solution Daryl provided in this situation was not so different from the story of Megan Phelps-Roper either! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Megan was a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, a group widely known for their extremist views towards homosexuals (โ€œGod hates f**sโ€).

From birth, Megan was raised in the Church as her grandfather was the founder. Because of her upbringing, she was raised to see a very limited view of the world around her. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐’๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ค๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ. ๐’๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐š๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ž๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌ.

It was only when she created a Twitter account to promote her Church was she exposed to alternative viewpoints. Anonymous people she had never met were now pointing out logical inconsistencies in her tweets.

One of those people in particular was a lawyer she debated and eventually became good friends with. ๐Ÿ”—

But the difference between him and other people who simply tweeted insults at her?

๐ŸŒŸ ๐™…๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐˜ฟ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™ก, ๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ก ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™๐™š๐™ง. ๐ŸŒŸ

Eventually she started to doubt what she was raised to believe. She eventually went to her folks for clarity, but with the new perspectives she had been introduced to she did not receive a satisfactory answer. ๐Ÿคฏ

Eventually she left the church along with her sisterโ€ฆand her family shunned her. Today she shares her personal story with others, to provide an inside view when it comes to religious extremism. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

As for that lawyer she once debatedโ€ฆthey’re now married! ๐Ÿ’

๐Ÿ™Œ WHAT DO ALL THESE STORIES HAVE IN COMMON? ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡-๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•๐’†๐’๐’–๐’”๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’‘๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’•๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’•๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’˜๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’† ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’๐’†, ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’• ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’”๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’‡๐’–๐’. ๐‘ต๐’ ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’†๐’—๐’†๐’“ ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’… ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Š๐’๐’”๐’–๐’๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’”๐’„๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’Ž๐’†๐’… ๐’‚๐’•. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’š๐’†๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’…, ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’• ๐’Š๐’• ๐’˜๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’†๐’‡๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’…๐’ ๐’”๐’. ๐ŸŒŸ

These all may sound like common sense. But how many people do you see using this common sense on a daily basis?

How about yourself? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sounds like it’s back to basics, right?!

โค๏ธ BUT I GET IT! โค๏ธ

Seriously, I do!

Your need to โ€œbe rightโ€ is the same reason I want to โ€œbe rightโ€. ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐‡๐จ๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž. ๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ ๐ฎ๐š๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐š ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฌ, ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ซ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง. ๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ง?! ๐ˆ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ! ๐ŸŒŸ

๐“๐จ ๐š๐๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐ซ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ข๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐œ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐›๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ˆ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐‰๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐ซ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ง ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. ๐ŸŒŸ

But thereโ€™s 1 big problem:

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž ๐จ๐ง ๐š ๐๐ž๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ, ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก ๐š ๐ฌ๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ. ๐ŸŒŸ

So, I get itโ€ฆitโ€™s not easy! It wasnโ€™t easy for me either! โค๏ธ

๐Ÿ™Œ BUTโ€ฆTHERE ARE SOLUTIONS! ๐Ÿ™Œ

These are solutions we need to start addressing sooner than later, so much as we are going to live together and not die together.

๐ŸŒŸ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ก๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™›๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š 7.5 ๐™—๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™  ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™–๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™—๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™š๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™–๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™™๐™ค. ๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฅ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™›๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™–๐™˜๐™ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™™๐™ž๐™™๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™—๐™š๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™š.๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ ๐™’๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฅ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™—๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™›๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™™๐™ค๐™ช๐™—๐™ฉ. ๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™˜๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ค๐™›๐™› ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™›๐™›๐™ž๐™˜. ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™˜๐™š๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™๐™ค๐™ค๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™จ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎโ€™๐™ง๐™š ๐™– โ€œ๐™๐™ค๐™ง๐™ง๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™™๐™ง๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™งโ€. ๐˜ฝ๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ๐™ค ๐™–๐™จ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™ง๐™ช๐™จ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ก, ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™จ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™™๐™ค๐™š๐™จ๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ข๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™ง๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ. ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™˜๐™๐™ค๐™ž๐™˜๐™š! ๐ŸŒŸ

So, who’s with me in being the change we wish to see? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. I can tell you I’ve made plenty myself! What matters is you acknowledge those mistakes and continue to improve upon them. ๐Ÿ‘

If I’ve not convinced you yet to come along on this journey, perhaps I can share with you advice directly from Megan Phelps-Roper herself on how we can better communicate with others…

“๐Ÿ™Œ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž ๐›๐š๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ.

My friends on Twitter realized that even when my words were aggressive and offensive, I sincerely believed I was doing the right thing.

Assuming ill motives almost instantly cuts us off from truly understanding why someone does and believes as they do. ๐ŸŒŸ

We forget that they’re a human being with a lifetime of experience that shaped their mind, and we get stuck on that first wave of anger, and the conversation has a very hard time ever moving beyond it. But when we assume good or neutral intent, we give our minds a much stronger framework for dialogue.

๐Ÿ™Œ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ.

When we engage people across ideological divides, asking questions helps us map the disconnect between our differing points of view. That’s important because we can’t present effective arguments if we don’t understand where the other side is actually coming from and because it gives them an opportunity to point out flaws in our positions.

But asking questions serves another purpose; it signals to someone that they’re being heard. ๐ŸŒŸ

When my friends on Twitter stopped accusing and started asking questions, I almost automatically mirrored them. Their questions gave me room to speak, but they also gave me permission to ask them questions and to truly hear their responses. It fundamentally changed the dynamic of our conversation.

๐Ÿ™Œ ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ซ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ฒ ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฆ.

This takes practice and patience, but it’s powerful. At Westboro, I learned not to care how my manner of speaking affected others. I thought my rightness justified my rudeness — harsh tones, raised voices, insults, interruptions — but that strategy is ultimately counterproductive. Dialing up the volume and the snark is natural in stressful situations, but it tends to bring the conversation to an unsatisfactory, explosive end.

When my husband was still just an anonymous Twitter acquaintance, our discussions frequently became hard and pointed, but we always refused to escalate. Instead, he would change the subject. He would tell a joke or recommend a book or gently excuse himself from the conversation. We knew the discussion wasn’t over, just paused for a time to bring us back to an even keel.

People often lament that digital communication makes us less civil, but this is one advantage that online conversations have over in-person ones. We have a buffer of time and space between us and the people whose ideas we find so frustrating. We can use that buffer. Instead of lashing out, we can pause, breathe, change the subject or walk away, and then come back to it when we’re ready.

๐Ÿ™Œ ๐€๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ…๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ.

This might seem obvious, but one side effect of having strong beliefs is that we sometimes assume that the value of our position is or should be obvious and self-evident, that we shouldn’t have to defend our positions because they’re so clearly right and good that if someone doesn’t get it, it’s their problem — that it’s not my job to educate them.

But if it were that simple, we would all see things the same way. ๐ŸŒŸ

As kind as my friends on Twitter were, if they hadn’t actually made their arguments, it would’ve been so much harder for me to see the world in a different way. We are all a product of our upbringing, and our beliefs reflect our experiences. We can’t expect others to spontaneously change their own minds. If we want change, we have to make the case for it.

๐ŸŒŸ ๐Œ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง ๐“๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐ข๐๐ง’๐ญ ๐š๐›๐š๐ง๐๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ — ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฌ๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ง๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ฉ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ฌ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ฐ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐œ๐š๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ž, ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐๐š๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฏ๐ข๐จ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž.” ๐ŸŒŸ

โค๏ธ SO…HOW ABOUT IT?! โค๏ธ

Why Life is All About ME…and WE!

Is life about Me or about We? What if it’s Both?ย ๐Ÿค”
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There’s the ongoing debate that continues on to this day that asks these very questions: individualism vs collectivism.
๐Ÿคœ๐Ÿค›
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Individualism stresses the importance of one’s self. Independence. Self-reliance. One’s uniqueness in contrast to others. The individual takes priority before the group. Me before We.ย ๐Ÿ‘ค
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Collectivism stresses the importance of the group: Social classes. Identity politics. Group activism. The group takes priority before the individual. We before Me.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ
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In our current political climate, these very questions are at an all-time high. Again, this debate has gone on for centuries. But I predict it may unfortunately for many more to come.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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Why? Because many people continue to see these viewpoints as mutually exclusive. Black or White. Us or Them. One or the Other. It’s a plethora of false dichotomies. We’re missing the bigger picture.ย ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ
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๐ŸŒŸย It’s not one OR the other; it’s one AND the other.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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Think of the Nature vs. Nurture debate. We are all born with genetic and biological traits that affect our lives, right? Simultaneously, we are also exposed to an environment which also affects our lives, right?ย ๐Ÿ‘
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Think of the philosophical Essentialism vs. Existentialism debate. We are born with essential traits which make us human, right? Simultaneously, we also have the power to make choices so we can define our futures, right?ย ๐Ÿ‘
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Think of us as human beings. We can share similar traits to each other like our beliefs, values, and interests, right? Simultaneously, we can also have traits that make us unique, things that will never make any of us 100% exactly the same, right?ย ๐Ÿ‘
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I’m not saying each side is equal or equivalent to each other. I’m not saying it’s 50-50 between the sides. I’m not trying to be Mr. Nice Guy by saying both sides matter. What I am saying is about taking the best of both worlds and integrating them, rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.ย โฃ๏ธ
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As I’ve shared in previous writings, it’s in our nature to generalize and group things. We want to make sense of this world so it’s naturally easier to see things in more black-and-white terms.
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๐ŸŒŸย But the fact is life is not black-and-white. We live in a very complex world.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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For a while I use to associate myself far more with the ideas of collectivism. Being a gay male, I was passionate about fighting for gay rights and equality. I was against what I saw as the ‘1%’: the corrupt people in government taking people’s money and paying themselves with million-dollar bonuses. As a group, we could fight “against the establishment”, right?ย ๐Ÿ˜ก
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But then I went on a journey being introduced to individualism. I saw the importance of working on my personal growth. I saw that my individuality did not have to be dependent on who I associated myself with. I saw the benefits of embracing personal responsibility for my life. A whole new perspective on the world opened up for me.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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๐ŸŒŸย I realized I was missing a piece of the puzzle for a long time. I realized life is not so simple as I thought it was.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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The way I’ve come to see it now: the better I become for myself, the better I can be for others around me. Individualism AND collectivism.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š
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These days, if someone doesn’t accept me for who I am, I’ve developed enough self-love and confidence within myself to not let their opinions control me.ย ๐Ÿ’ช
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If someone discriminates against me, I no longer take it as a personal attack but rather as an acknowledgement it’s more a reflection on who they are as a person than about me. I feel less of a need to blame others for my problems and place all my hopes in the government changing it for me.ย ๐Ÿ‘
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๐ŸŒŸย I would not be where I am today or grown the way I have if I didn’t let the seeds of individualism come into my life.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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Again, that doesn’t mean I dismiss collectivism! After all, it’s where my perspective initially started. I still support gay rights. I am still for group activism to influence change in our society. Martin Luther King Jr. is a fine example of an individual who led with a collectivist influence.ย ๐Ÿ’‘
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But do you think he could’ve been such an effective leader, accepting the hatred he received, his radical insistence towards non-violence in the face of violence, if he didn’t also take care of himself? Think of the other many great leaders in our history. They didn’t start like that from birth.ย ๐Ÿ“–
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Where I see criticisms come in against individualism is primarily towards the ones who have embraced individualism but forgotten the collective. They have built their wealth but it’s always been about Me for them. Ego-centrism. They are the individual ‘1%’ the collective ‘99%’ refer to. The Wolf of Wall Street is an example of such extreme individualism.ย ๐Ÿบ
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But I can assure you that’s not everyone. I’ve had the privilege to meet some very successful and wealthy individuals. They are not the caricatures some people have made them out to be.ย ๐Ÿคก
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Did you know some of the biggest philanthropists in the world are also some of the wealthiest people in the world? Think if you built up your own wealth how much more money you could contribute back to the world!ย ๐Ÿ‘
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Again, I’m not saying to dismiss collectivism. What I’m saying is putting the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on the person next to you. Individualism, THEN Collectivism.ย ๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ
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The reason I’m able to help more people collectively today is because I put myself first. I took care of myself. I worked on my personal growth. I molded myself into becoming a better person than I was yesterday. And I still do this every day!ย ๐Ÿ’ช
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๐ŸŒŸย If you’re not good for yourself first, you can’t expect to be good for others. It starts and ends with you.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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This post went longer than I expected! If you made it this far, I really appreciate you taking the time to read! You are awesome!ย โค๏ธ#TranscendLabels

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