Blog: Are We Even THINKING?

by Brad on July 8, 2020


There’s an awful lot of activity these days, some of it even violent, directed at “righting the wrongs” of both the past and the present. Change names of military bases. Remove statues. Defund police. It’s easy (when you’re not thinking) to see all this as well-intentioned … and perhaps even effective. But to me, it’s no better intentioned or effective than deciding to change where the Pilgrims landed, just because Plymouth is too busy in the summer.  (And, ah, yes, those Pilgrims … yet another possible target.)

But if you take even one step back, a step that allows you (1) to see – see what’s right there in plain sight, mind you, and (2) to think – think critically, objectively, rationally … you’d realize that neither the intention nor the final product “rights” any“wrongs” at all. That’s because the “wrong” in all these issues is the hatred we harbor in our small-minded thinking – hatred borne of fear, fear that those who are different from us are somehow “wrong” … solely because they’re different. No matter if it’s race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, poverty, or even politics, it seems … hatred caused problems “then,” and it’s still causing problems now.

To change names, remove statues or defund police is a form of abject denial, a cover-up for our unwillingness to confront our fears, and thereby release the judgments we hold. Only when we see what is real might we begin work on the cause of our prejudice, not the results of it. If we don’t, I imagine a time, perhaps decades from now, when those that follow us will look back on 2020 and seek reparations for the wake today’s judgments leave in our path.

I rather suspect that those who believe, see, think, speak and act in ways that include and respect others, unconditionally, are those who’ve done this inner work of self-awareness, those with a level of self-knowledge and self-trust that relegates prejudice to the dark ages – where it belongs. Simply put, they’re no longer afraid of themselves, so they no longer need project that fear onto others instead.

But in the meantime …  my ancestors were on that little ship, the Mayflower. Maybe it’s time to hate ME now, too.

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