Last night I watched the new David Letterman show on Netflix featuring Barack Obama as the quest. Having never voted for him, I’m not a supporter of his political views or tactics, yet I do respect the values and understanding he conveys beneath all that policy rhetoric. He sees the injustice of humanity, and wishes there was a more beneficial outcome for a broader number of people. I see him as a good person that found politics as an opportunity to push for beneficial change. Unfortunately, that path is littered with greed and corruption, that tears away much of the fabric of intent for doing good. He expressed what I believed to be genuine gratitude for the circumstances beyond his control, that led to the opportunities, that offered him this path. His interview struck in me some of the views I’ve expressed here about how to tilt the social construct to favor everyone, and what those present barriers exist of.
The ability to to see beyond the perception that we form at first glance is a key element to changing the story. “Us/Them” politics utilizes very restrictive ideology to separate individuals into polarized opposing groups, that posture against each other stagnating progress. Casual social conversations deteriorate under the weight of this paradigm, and present a giant barrier to supporting change. That partisanship represented in Washington DC filters all the way down to the tiniest of local communities when it comes to the lunacy of ideology. What doesn’t happen are open honest conversation rooted in sympathy, empathy, and compassion for making the entire system better for everyone.
Let’s think about a real solution format for how to start these progressive conversations. Most issues arise whenever someone states their views derived from their ideological values, and the other person represents that polar opposite perspective. More often than not, these are people who’s positions aren’t predisposed to one another, because people aware of the others halo of ideology either avoid each other, the conversation, over pretend it doesn’t exist. Once that cat comes out of the bag, the posturing around the opposition rears it’s ugly head, and the emotional defense is all that’s on the table. Shift this outline to any conversation, and imagine the outcome. The problem lies in the identity of the individual based upon belonging to an ideology. There can be no progress without changing that personal dynamic within a majority of people. So, there is the foundation for building a platform to create real lasting beneficial change, that satisfies the hope existing within nearly everyone today.
So, instead of building upon this false sense of comfort we derive from ideology, let’s build a better understanding of ourselves and the mechanics of who we truly are. introspection is not just a hippy culture escape mechanism, but a very powerful cognitive behavioral therapy. Asking the questions of yourself, that you would ask of others is an accountable approach to changing the rationalization process we substitute with today. Rather than searching for the reason to support your behavior, examine the intent before you allow yourself to engage in it.
Evaluation of how we affect others and the world around us before giving ourselves the entire benefit of our actions. The ego hates this approach, but it's your consciousness, and yours to shape and form into what you choose to affect. This introspective approach takes some effort and refining to get your attention directed away from just you and outward to your life. Attaining compassion takes a certain discipline drawn from beneath the superficial surface most people navigate within. It takes some practice. Give it a try the next time you catch yourself judging the world and others whenever you feel the discomfort of being alone in your presence of who you think you are...