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 Want and Need Are DIFFERENT!

We NEED food to live; we WANT specific foods we like to eat.ย ๐Ÿ•

We NEED shelter to survive; we WANT a house that’s big and spacious.ย ๐Ÿ 

We NEED connection with others; we WANT to connect with people we like.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

When we take the time to separate the difference between these 2 in the mind, we allow a new perspective to enter our lives. We allow ourselves to see how much we do in fact have in our lives.ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

๐ŸŒŸย We understand the difference between what’s essential and what’s desirable, what’s a necessity and what’s unnecessary.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

It’s something you may need to remind yourself of from time to time. I know I definitely have!ย ๐Ÿ˜…

When we mistake our Needs and Wants for being the same thing, we suffer when our Wants aren’t met, because emotionally we are treating our Wants as if they are Needs.ย ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But when you discern the difference and your Want is not met, it’s so much easier for the mind to simply say: “Eh! I didn’t Need it anyhow!”ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

How Words Have POWER!

โš ๏ธย YOUR WORDS HAVE POWER!!!ย โš ๏ธ
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I recently watched a Danish movie called “The Hunt” starring Mads Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale”).ย ๐ŸŽฌย And it was ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING!ย ๐Ÿ˜”
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No, the film wasn’t bad at all! It was actually a great film! It just was not an easy film to watch.ย ๐Ÿ˜ซย It’s a film that asks some really tough questions about the power of mob mentality and mass hysteria.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ
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It shows how groups of people will jump to rash assumptions and conclusions about someone rather than gathering all the facts.ย ๐Ÿค”
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With our society’s current Outrage Culture where feelings and justice can matter more than facts and accuracy, this film points out a problem still needing to be addressed.ย ๐Ÿ‘
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The movie tells the story about a quiet man living in a small rural community in Denmark.ย ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐย He’s recently become a preschool teacher, has a small set of drinking buddies, and has found a new girlfriend. After recently separating from his wife, his life is starting to look uphill.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š
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But then a lewd lie is made up about him. At first, it seems absurd to the man that people actually believe the lie rather than him, a person who the community has known for a very long time. But the lie takes on a life of its own.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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Soon the whole community has jumped to the worst conclusions about him. He is fired from his job. His new girlfriend leaves him. His best friend shuns him. He is physically assaulted trying to shop in the local store.ย ๐Ÿ‘Šย Suddenly, even more lies are spread. He is eventually charged by the police, but all the charges are soon dropped because of no evidence. Nevertheless, the acts by the community escalate into greater threats and physical violence against him.ย ๐Ÿ’ฅ
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Remember: we are aware as an audience member this man is 100% innocent and all the rumors and continuing allegations made against him are 100% false.ย ๐Ÿ‘ย Yet, everything that happens to him in the film started with a single lie. Even the person who told the original lie eventually admits she was lying. But even then, she is not believed!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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The community would rather hold onto the lies of this false narrative than face the fact they were condemning and harming an innocent man.ย ๐Ÿ‘ค
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It’s a devastating film, not just seeing this man’s life crumble, but also in thinking how eerily similar issues like these echo in our own society. How often have we heard someone make an accusation online or in the news and we automatically assumed it was 100% true?ย ๐Ÿค”ย How often have we not taken the time to remember there’s 2 sides to every story and didn’t gather all the facts before coming to a conclusion? I have, so I’m not pointing fingers here. I’ve done it too!ย ๐Ÿ‘
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And don’t get me wrong, some accusations do in fact turn out to be true. We find out the details, we gather all the evidence, and we confirm its validity or not.ย ๐Ÿ‘ย But there’s also others, like with this man, where accusations turn out to be grossly false. Despite them being false, the damage has already been done: an innocent person’s reputation is left for dead, and no repercussions are to be had for the original accuser.ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ
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In the Court of Law it is “innocent until proven guilty”. But in the Court of Public Opinion it has become “guilty until proven innocent”. The problem is we don’t want to follow the same path the characters in the play “The Crucible” did and start accusing our neighbors we dislike of being witches.ย ๐Ÿ‘‰
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It is these false cries where a person’s life can be ruined based on accusations and narratives which aren’t true. It is these false accusations which do a great disservice to the accusations which are in fact true.ย ๐ŸŽฏ
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It’s why I continue to emphasize it’s SO IMPORTANT whenever we hear or read anything that we separate the Facts from the Story Created Around the Facts. Take a news story: you don’t read 100% facts. You read a story which is set around a set of facts the journalist provides you. You can read more in my post here:ย https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156091492785964&id=509935963
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But I’m not here to dwell on the problem. I want to provide solutions as well. There is hope!ย ๐Ÿ˜
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๐Ÿ“Œย Drop your cynicism for skepticism. Cynicism jumps to predetermined conclusions about people regarding self interest and malicious intent. Skepticism starts from nothing. Cynicism wants the truth to be black and white, clear as day. Skepticism wants the truth to be whatever the truth is, no matter its complexity.
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๐Ÿ“Œย Question your emotions. Our emotions filter our decision-making. When we’re angry, we’re more likely to lash out and throw out accusations by the handful. One question to ask yourself: Does this emotion serve me in the present moment? Be sure you are using your emotions and not letting your emotions use you. Develop your emotional intelligence.
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๐Ÿ“Œย Consider our common humanity. People make mistakes. People say things they regret. People lie. People mature and aren’t the same people they were decades ago. And if you can’t relate to any of those things, I’d ask if you were a human being. I don’t say this to justify what someone does. It’s to acknowledge our shared humanity with other people. It helps gives you a clearer focus on the situation, supplemented with the Superpower of Empathy.
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๐Ÿ“Œย Be wary of group mentality. There’s a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are in groups, where they collectively become a microcosm of shared beliefs and actions. Individuality gets lost and people conform to whatever the group does. It’s the reason a group of harmless people can start a riot, even if others never went in with the intention to.
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While it’s easier to summarize a person’s entire existence based on narratives and a few labels, you simultaneously box that person into a Filter of Perception of which everyone else is now going to be seeing that person.
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The big question though: Is it really true?ย ๐Ÿ‘ค
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There’s a reason Don Miguel Ruiz had one of his Four Agreements be: Be Impeccable With Your Word. Words have the power to create as well as destroy. The problem is they’re more often today used to destroy than for any form of creation.ย ๐Ÿ‘
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That man in the film, no matter how many times he could say he was innocent, could no longer be seen the same way again by his community because of the labels laid upon him, despite there being no evidence at all for the labels.ย ๐Ÿ˜”
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But here’s the catch: No one is played in the film for a caricature. Everyone has reasons for why they do what they do. Like the characters who spread the lie, they genuinely believe others need to be aware because their fears says the lie is true. Their collective need to believe something did in fact happen overrode their ability to critically think.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ
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That’s why developing our self-awareness is so important, so we don’t give into our irrational emotions and simply go along with the crowds. Because at times the crowd will be dead wrong. As the philosopher Kierkegaard said: “The crowd is untruth.”ย ๐Ÿ‘
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Of course, there are people in the world who have in fact done bad things. There are people who are guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt and should be rightfully held accountable for their actions. I’m not denying that. Justice should be rightfully served.ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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But this post today was about addressing the elephant in the room.ย ๐Ÿ˜
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๐Ÿ“ย This post is not about the thirst for social justice but about the injustice that happens to the innocent because of this thirst.
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๐Ÿ“ย This post is not about accusations but about the negative consequences for a society where falsehoods can easily be thrown around without repercussion or personal responsibility taken on any side.
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It produces a culture of victimhood, one which a civil society crumbles under because of the very thing it continues reinforcing: blame.ย ๐Ÿคฌ
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But again, I also have hope. I believe with any form of destruction there must also come creation. I wholeheartedly reject nihilism. I continue looking for the best in humanity because more often than not I will tend to find it. Because I believe what will save us from ourselves…is our best selves.ย โค๏ธ

Why There’s Always ANOTHER Layer! (PERSONAL)

๐ŸŠย THEREโ€™S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!!ย ๐ŸŠ

Iโ€™ve been around the Personal Development community for over 3 years now. Iโ€™ve read many books, heard lots of speakers, and met hundreds of people who continue to help me grow into my best self!ย ๐Ÿ‘คย I’m forever grateful!ย โค๏ธ

But yet, I can hardly say Iโ€™ve grown into my greatest potential!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย โ€œWait! Are you saying all this stuff’s just a bunch of hooplah, Donald?!โ€ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Oh no, not at all! I’ve gotten a ton of growth through Personal Development.ย ๐Ÿ‘ย But what Iโ€™m saying is the longer Iโ€™ve been around the community, the longer Iโ€™ve focused on growing myself, the longer Iโ€™ve immersed myself in the piles upon piles of material, I can safely say I still have a long way to grow.ย ๐ŸŒฑ

On an even brighter side, life never gets boring because of just that! It’s why im going to be sharing another story with you all!ย ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ

One thing I can assure you, say you decide to go on your own journey of personal growth: As long as you keep making the choice to never stop growing, you truly will never stop growing.ย ๐Ÿ‘

Some people will stop after watching 1 motivational video. Some will stop after reading 1 self-help book.ย ๐Ÿ“–ย Some will stop after attending 1 transformational seminar. Some will in fact stop at the end of the section in the library labeled โ€œPersonal Developmentโ€!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

But if you decide to keep growing, you will keep growing. But that also means more than just living your life inside the Personal Development circle.ย ๐Ÿ‘

Last week I was having a conversation with someone I consider a dear friend as well as a mentor in my personal growth,ย Charles M. Hawkins. Charles in fact was the gentleman who first encouraged me to write down my thoughts like I’m doing right here. He saw in me what I for a long time wasnโ€™t willing to acknowledge: a gift for communication through thoughtful writing.ย โœ๏ธ

And because of him you all now get to put up with my lengthy social media posts!ย ๐Ÿ˜‚ย Muhwahaha!ย ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Anyways, as Charles and I spoke we got onto the topic about my time Crewing at Tony Robbins’s events. I told him how I was a big fan of Tony Robbinsโ€™s workโ€ฆbut not in the sense he or others may think me to be.ย ๐Ÿค”ย On the surface, I can definitely see how some others may see me as a โ€œfanboyโ€, a โ€œsheepโ€, or a “naive” individual. But I told him about how in-depth my reasoning goes as to why I actually support Tonyโ€™s work. It’s not at all black-and-white!ย ๐Ÿ”ฒ

(If you want to know more about my reasoning, read my post here:ย http://bit.ly/2QH65RZ)

But what started as a conversation about Tonyโ€™s work soon branched into many different subjects, from the Hard Sciences to Philosophy to Sociology to Social Media. They were all subjects I’d been self-educating myself on the past year, and I found how they were all interconnected in some form or another.ย ๐Ÿ”„ย I led Charles down many territories of thought, and as much as my explanations fell into tangents I somehow was always able to bring it back to the overall root.ย โ˜˜๏ธ

I was showing a side of myself to Charles I donโ€™t typically share. Itโ€™s one I donโ€™t share much on social media either. And I know some of you have heard me say that statement many times before! But like I said earlier:

๐ŸŠย THEREโ€™S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!!ย ๐ŸŠ

I revealed to Charles the Intellectual part of my personality:

๐Ÿ“Œย The one that sees a more complex world than the one we like to make it out to be.

๐Ÿ“Œย The one which loves to analyze and get to the root of issues.

๐Ÿ“Œย The one which sees a world filled with many paradoxes and contradictions.

๐Ÿ“Œย The one who has an idea, and will then debate that idea in his head for a period of time.

๐Ÿ“Œย The one who is hesitant to come out into Donald’s everyday life out of concern no one will understand him.

Fear peeked in his little ugly head throughout our conversation.ย ๐Ÿ˜จย โ€œI hope you’re not boring Charles!โ€ โ€œI hope you’re explaining this well enough to him!โ€ โ€œI hope you’re still talking like a โ€˜normalโ€™ human being!โ€ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Eventually Charles asked me a question Iโ€™m not at all surprised he asked: Was there a moment I decided to go outside the Tony Robbins and personal development environments to learn all these things?ย โ‰๏ธ

Quite often it’s easy to stay inside our comfort zone by surrounding ourselves with ideas we’re already familiar with, ones which don’t challenge our current paradigms of the world. But I was doing that. Why?ย ๐Ÿค”

The best way I could answer Charles: At some point I decided my personal growth could not end at Tony Robbinsโ€™s doors.ย ๐Ÿšชย I decided my personal growth could not end at the library section labeled โ€œPersonal Developmentโ€. I decided my personal growth could not end at only learning about topics that I was interested in or reinforced my current worldview.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

The past year I stepped outside Personal Development, not away from it but took time exploring what other subjects the world offered. Iโ€™ve been self-educating myself on various topics from Philosophy to Psychology to the Hard Sciences. Iโ€™ve even learned about topics Iโ€™m NOT interested in!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

By no means am I saying this to toot my own horn or act like I’m somehow now intellectually superior. Iโ€™ve only just started developing this part of me. And I’m going to continue to let it grow!ย ๐Ÿ˜

(For those who want to continue expanding their knowledge base, CrashCourse has become one of my top favorite Education channels on YouTubeย ๐Ÿ’ป:https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse)

I’m grateful I’ve taken the time to step outside the Personal Development field to see how else I could expand my mind. And you know what: some of the topics I use to once consider โ€˜boringโ€™ as a kid I learn now and find very fascinating!ย ๐Ÿ˜„

But I never would’ve re-discovered them had I not decided to step outside the realm of Personal Development.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

๐ŸŒŸย Paradoxically, you limit your growth when you limit yourself to just Personal Development. ๐ŸŒŸ

But of course, what is to come of all this learning I’m doing? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ Education is pointless if Iโ€™m not also finding ways to use and integrate it in my life, right? As the quote goes: โ€œKnowledge is not power; itโ€™s potential power.โ€ ๐Ÿ’ฌ Nothing comes of knowledge when itโ€™s only sitting in your brain! And what if you die with all this knowledge just left in your head?! โ‰๏ธ

I thought about all this as I continued talking with Charles. I admitted to him these kinds of topics where they get complex I don’t usually talk about. Why? Because Fear likes to rationalize in the mind:

๐Ÿ˜จ โ€œYour online brand needs to stick to a singular focus!โ€

๐Ÿ˜จ โ€œPeople won’t understand what the hell youโ€™re talking about!โ€

๐Ÿ˜จ โ€œPeople want simplicity; thatโ€™s Entrepreneurship 101!โ€

But if you were to ever tell me to a write a book on a singular topic, I’d surely write you a book. But the best book title for it would be “Assorted Writings”! ๐Ÿ˜‚

It was only until this conversation with Charles that I was reminded for the millionth timeโ€ฆ

๐ŸŠ THEREโ€™S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! ๐ŸŠ

I thought I had gotten over my fears of judgement and rejection from others. I have in many situations! But here it was appearing again, hiding in a crevice I never thought to look into! ๐Ÿงฑ

Charles gave me an important lesson last week: If you have a gift, open it. Donโ€™t let it go to waste. Donโ€™t let your fear of social acceptance waver your sail from reaching its final destination. โ›ต

So now, with the realization I was still holding back, Iโ€™ve decided in the coming year Iโ€™m going to be sharing with you all a lot more of Me in future entries. ๐Ÿ‘ค I’m going to share topics that are more in-depth and things I believe will benefit others to learn about. It’s not to bore you; I can assure they all serve a greater purpose than hearing myself ramble. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It doesnโ€™t matter if I think in complex ways some people wonโ€™t understand. It doesnโ€™t matter if I wonโ€™t always be accepted for my lengthy posts. It doesnโ€™t matter if my thinking so often falls on Yellow in the Spiral Dynamics scale. ๐Ÿ’›

They are only โ€œflawsโ€ if I embrace the belief that they are. But what if they are in fact my greatest “gifts”, and I’m wasting them by hiding them? It’s time for them to be shown a lot more! ๐Ÿ‘

If you have a talent or skill you believe is useful in sharing, go and share it! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ I think of the scene in โ€œGood Will Huntingโ€ here where Willโ€™s best friend Chuckie gives him some tough love, but it’s exactly what he needed to hear (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i8eIzSeC8w). ๐Ÿ“บ

Share your gifts. ๐ŸŽ Share your skills which others donโ€™t have. That goes for anyone, not just me. Like this movie scene illustrates: If you wonโ€™t owe it to yourself, owe to the people who want you to see you succeed. Owe it to the people who want to see you thrive. Owe it to the people who need to receive what you can give them. Life is far more than just about focusing on yourself. ๐ŸŒŽ

Itโ€™s why I share this post with you all today. Itโ€™s my hope through my own stories that you see them reflect through your own. ๐Ÿ™Œ As Iโ€™ll always continue to tell you all: Iโ€™m not perfect, and I will never claim to be. Iโ€™m perfectly imperfect, just like all of you. And Iโ€™m also still growing just like all of you. ๐ŸŒฑ

๐ŸŒŸ The moment you say you know all there is to know is the moment you stop growing. ๐ŸŒŸ

I think of Socratesโ€™s quote: โ€œAll I know is that I know nothing.โ€ ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ And the more Iโ€™ve continued to learn and grow, the more I keep seeing how that quote rings true. ๐Ÿ””

Because…

๐ŸŠ THEREโ€™S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! ๐ŸŠ

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