Why Misinformation SPREADS!

๐Ÿคฏ ๐–๐‡๐˜ ๐Œ๐ˆ๐’๐ˆ๐๐…๐Ž๐‘๐Œ๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐ ๐’๐๐‘๐„๐€๐ƒ๐’!!! ๐Ÿคฏ

Ever played the game Telephone? ๐Ÿ“ž

Itโ€™s where you have group of people get in a straight line, and they stand next to each other. ——->

On one end of the line, Person 1 whispers a message to Person 2 next to them. Person 2 then is supposed to whisper the exact same message to Person 3 also next to them, and this continues on and on until they reach the last person at the end of the line. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

The goal of the game is to transfer the message Person 1 whispered as accurate as possible to the last person in line. โžก๏ธ

Of course, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜€ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐จ๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ! ๐Ÿ˜…

Itโ€™s a fun game to play if you ever get the chance! ๐ŸŽฒ

But, I also think this game is a great analogy when it comes to the public spread of misinformation online. ๐Ÿค”

Consider this scenarioโ€ฆโฌ‡๏ธ

SCENARIO: ๐˜ผ ๐˜พ๐˜ฟ๐˜พ ๐™ค๐™›๐™›๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ซ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™จ ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ช๐™—๐™ก๐™ž๐™˜. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

1. Person 1 cherry picks the CDCโ€™s statement and passes the information to Person 2. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

2. Person 2 does not trust the CDC. He only remembers what Person 1 said that confirmed his biases against the CDC and passes the remaining information onto Person 3. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

3. Person 3 has a blog. He carries an anti-establishment worldview, so he posts what Person 2 says word-for-word. He then tacks on his own personal opinion to Person 2โ€™s words and tells his reader to share his post on their social media pages. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

4. Thousands of people share Person 3โ€™s blog post on their social media pages, in addition to also adding their own personal opinion attached to the posts.

5. Friends of these thousands of people then in turn share their posts on their own social media profiles, adding in even more personal opinions. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐—•๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—–๐——๐—–’๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐˜†-๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ƒ๐‚โ€™๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐š ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‚๐ƒ๐‚โ€™๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

โ€ฆSee how this can become a BIG problem, especially during a pandemic? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

For those of my friends who consider themselves conscious consumers:

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the foods they eat and the impact it has on the environment.

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the media they consume and the impact it has on their mental health.

๐Ÿ“Œ For those who take concern over the consequences their actions can have on others.

๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž. ๐Ÿ™Œ

It’s very easy for any of us not to consider the consequences of sharing misinformation, especially when we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Itโ€™s very easy for any of us not to consider the long-term effects this has on a democracy’s basic understanding of epistemic facts, on social media platforms where a majority of individuals receive their news! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Yes! A 2016 study from Pew Research Center accounted that 62% of adults get their news from social media (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6424427/).

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐ก๐จ๐œ๐ค ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง? ๐Ÿ˜“

We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe the moon landing never happened. We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe vaccines don’t save lives. We start to grow the amount of individuals who believe Bill Gates is the devil incarnate bent on a New World Order. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

I would hope most of my social media friends know that 2 + 2 = 4. But with the online game of Telephone, I would not be surprised to see some individuals who start to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 just because they watched 1 persuasive video they saw on YouTube. ๐Ÿ˜ข

Consider this: ๐€๐ง๐ฒ ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ-๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž, ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง (โ€œ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‘๐„ ๐๐„๐ˆ๐๐† ๐‹๐ˆ๐„๐ƒ ๐“๐Ž! ๐Ÿ + ๐Ÿ ๐„๐๐”๐€๐‹๐’ ๐Ÿ“!โ€), ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐จ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘€

๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

But I’m not writing this post to add any additional fearmongering. Perhaps I am too over-concerned. Perhaps I am also underestimating the intelligence of the majority of individuals who use social media. Perhaps my own confirmation bias is seeing these minor instances of ignorance and jumping to conclusions that it’s a bigger problem than it actually is! ๐Ÿ˜…

Nevertheless, when I see people I know and care about share information that only requires a basic understanding of Science, Chemistry, and Statistics to know it’s false, I’m aware the red flag in my mind starts blowing in the wind. ๐Ÿšฉ

I admit it: a part of me does fear a future society where a significant portion of the world’s population cannot share a mutually agreed upon fact as simple as 2 + 2 = 4. ๐Ÿ”ข

๐Ÿคฌ “WOW DONALD! WAY TO CRITICIZE YOUR FRIENDS!” ๐Ÿคฌ

No, that’s not my intention! Iโ€™m not here claiming the spread of misinformation by my friends is at all being done intentionally or maliciously. โŒ

As author Sam Harris says: “๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ๐ง’๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐›๐š๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ซ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐š๐ ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฌ.” ๐Ÿ‘ค

Or we can also use the phrase: “๐๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ง’๐ญ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ.” ๐Ÿ‘ค

That’s why I wanted to write this post, to merely illuminate this potential blind spot. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Like the game of Telephone, misinformation is inevitably going to spread, whether we intend it to or not. This caution need also be applied to me as well! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

But my point is we CAN be more careful about how fast it spreads. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I get it. No one was given a How-To handbook to discern accurate and factual information online. Not even me; I had to learn these skills on my own! ๐Ÿ˜…

Back in school I was given a syllabus for my classes by the teacher. I was told what textbooks I needed to use. I was told what chapters I needed to read and study on. ๐Ÿ”Ž

Before the internet, we had a very limited amount of TV channels we could choose to get our information from. And if we wanted to further expand our knowledge, we’d have to get in our cars and drive to the nearest library. ๐Ÿ“š

But now with the Internet…we have MILLIONS of pieces of information available to us at the click of a button! ๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ

And EVEN MORE information is continuing to be created right as you read this post! This post you’re reading here IS just a speck of it! ๐Ÿ‘

My point is, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐œ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ. โœ๏ธ

So while social media provided many benefits, it also came with this unforeseen baggage. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง’๐ฌ ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ฌ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž.

Someone online can proclaim the fact of 2 + 2 = 4 as something to be “debated” when there is no debate. As long you know how to market yourself, build an online audience, and influence others you can sell snake oil and people will buy it. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐Ÿ˜“ โ€œDONALD, YOUโ€™RE DEPRESSING ME WITH THIS!โ€ ๐Ÿ˜“

BUT…there is a bright side to all this! ๐ŸŒž

๐’๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž (๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ) ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง! ๐Ÿฅณ

Companies like Facebook continue to work with third-party fact checking companies to combat this growing problem. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/programs/third-party-fact-checking)๐Ÿ‘

The very idea of “Fact-Checking” has now become a thing among organizations! (Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fact-checking_websites) ๐Ÿ˜„

๐’๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž๐๐ข๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ง๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ฌ, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ณ๐ž๐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐๐ž๐ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ

That said, should we really have to depend on social media companies to supervise us? Can we do better than this, to be more responsible, self-governing citizens? ๐Ÿ‘ค

Perhaps I’m a bit too optimistic, but I believe we can! ๐Ÿ˜„

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ. This goes for me too! ๐ŸŽฏ

๐Ÿฑ ๐—ค๐—จ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ฆ ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ž ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—˜๐—ช๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—œ๐—ก๐—™๐—ข๐—ฅ๐— ๐—”๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก ๐—ข๐—ก๐—Ÿ๐—œ๐—ก๐—˜!

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜– ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜ˆ๐˜› ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜Œ๐˜• ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜Œ๐˜™๐˜Œ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ?

๐Ÿ“Œ ๐˜ž๐˜๐˜  ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ?

๐—•๐—ข๐—ก๐—จ๐—ฆ ๐—ค๐—จ๐—˜๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก: ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜™๐˜Œ๐˜ˆ๐˜“๐˜“๐˜  ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต? ๐˜–๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ž๐˜ˆ๐˜•๐˜› ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต?

๐…๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ. As a functioning democracy, as a basic understanding of objective truth, it matters that we all can agree that 2 + 2 = 4. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

The bigger question is: will you join me in being a part of that solution?

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 YOU Are Suffering!

“What upsets people are not THINGS themselves but their JUDGMENTS about the things.” ~ Epictetus ๐Ÿ’ฌ
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Do you want to feel LESS UPSET? Allow me to assist! โค๏ธ
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We are not upset because an event happens. We are upset because we believe an event “shouldn’t” have happened. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ
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We’re arguing with the “shoulds” in our minds. ๐Ÿคฏ
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We’re arguing with the feelings of anger and frustration we’re experiencing. ๐Ÿคฌ
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We’re arguing with a past which no longer exists. โŒ›
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But here’s the problem: “๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ฎ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž.” ๐Ÿ˜“
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So, I want to introduce you to a solution: ACCEPTANCE. โค๏ธ
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๐Ÿ™Œ Accept whatever it is you’re experiencing. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Accept the events which happened. Accept the emotions you’re feeling. Accept the judgments your mind is making. Accept whatever is.
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Accept. And you’ll be surprised how fast you’ll be able to let these things go. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Release. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Surrender. ๐Ÿ™Œ
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Because it’s only when you continue holding onto this baggage will you cause yourself needless suffering. ๐Ÿ˜จ
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๐Ÿคฌ “HOW DARE YOU, DONALD! I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED!” ๐Ÿคฌ
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You do! 100%! You have every reason to feel this way! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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There’s no doubt there’s a feeling of nobility, this sense of self-righteousness, to hold onto these negative emotions. I totally get it! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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These intense emotions serve you feelings of power. These intense emotions serve you feelings of control over what at times can feel like a very chaotic world. โœŠ
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As I heard 1 person once describe their feelings of anger: “It’s like jet fuel!” ๐Ÿคฌ
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For me to tell you to accept your emotions, for me to tell you to diffuse the mechanisms which provide your feelings of power and control, is by far the last thing you’d want to hear from me, right?! ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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I understand. โค๏ธ
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But I can assure you: ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ, ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฆ๐ž๐, ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ.
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And there are far better, more constructive ways to handling our problems. ๐Ÿ’ฏ
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Let me clarify:
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๐Ÿ“ Acceptance does not mean we become complacent in our life.
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๐Ÿ“ Acceptance does not mean we enable the things and situations which spark our negative emotions.
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๐Ÿ“ Acceptance is simply about freeing ourselves from needless suffering.
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๐Ÿ“ Acceptance is simply about clearing the weeds from our minds.
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๐Ÿ“ Acceptance is simply a tool to help us see things as they are, objectively, without any judgments and attachments.
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And practicing acceptance doesn’t just affect you! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
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It affects how you will interact with others, how civil you’ll be with others in tense situations. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
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It affects what solutions you’re going to come up with to address your problems. ๐Ÿค”
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It affects the long-term impact you’re going to have upon short-term situations. ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ
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“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle ๐Ÿ’ฌ
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Why EMBRACE Change!

Last year I was in Glasgow visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was such a beautiful museum, I spent nearly 3 hours looking at EVERY nook and cranny! ๐Ÿ˜

If you ever want to be reminded of how VAST our world and its history is, take a trip sometime to a museum! ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

At one point, I had entered the section with an ENTIRE wall dedicated to Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution! ๐Ÿฆท

Before Darwin, our world had a much MORE simplified explanation as to how our world’s inhabitants came to be. ๐Ÿ˜…

Contrary to popular belief at the time, Earth is in fact WAY MORE than 6000 years old! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Not only going against conventional understanding, Darwin changed the paradigm of BOTH the religious AND scientific beliefs of his time! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

He showed us there was a world FAR MORE complex than what was once thought, presenting ideas which later laid the foundation for MANY subjects we study today including Biology. ๐Ÿงซ

But why do I share this post with you? ๐Ÿค”

Because there was one KEEN observation Darwin noticed during his studies. Verbatim, I saw this written on the museum wall: โœ๏ธ

๐ŸŒŸ “๐ƒ๐š๐ซ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ฅ๐ž – ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž.” ๐ŸŒŸ

With COVID and everything happening in 2020, I find this quote stretches FAR BEYOND Darwin to our modern world today. Our world is constantly changing, perhaps too fast for many people’s comfort. โŒ›

But with this finding from Darwin, I challenge us to take on this opportunity to continue adapting to whatever comes our way. Because we are greater than our circumstances! ๐Ÿ’ช

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” โค๏ธ