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The Answer is in the Middle

Authored by Jack Scott via Medium.com,

Humans seem to gravitate to one stark camp or the other of a problem. Once aligned, we stubborn humans will do everything in our power to prove we’re right. There’s jargon for this type of behavior: confirmation bias, but the name’s not important.

What is important: we all are trying to validate our worldview, and the sooner we recognize it the better.

Worldviews are ingrained in us. We all have one, and it’s a product of our gender, our race, our place of origin, etc. Factors are placed on our heads the moment we leave the womb, and they shape us into the person we are. This is true for every human being, you included. Recognize it.

And recognize that a worldview only has value to the one it belongs to. We value our worldviews, otherwise we wouldn’t trying to be validating them, but another person’s worldview won’t perfectly align with ours. That’s why there’s a clash when worldviews collide.

You say politics, I say differing worldviews.

And yet we are all still so convinced we are right! Thank your pesky worldview for that. Look at the divide in our country. Left and Right are in their trenches. The middle is no man’s land. It’s fertile ground, though few would even think of venturing out and stretching their hand, not with those machine guns barking.

Transcendence is key here, as is recognition. We are all inherently equal here on earth (a key element to my own worldview). And we are all inherently depraved (another key element of my own worldview). If we all weren’t so fucked up in our own special way, then there would be peace and harmony, a perfect understanding of our fellow man, a celebration of our differences (or who knows, there may not be any personal differences that set us apart all), and love, so much love.

For many, no matter their worldview, that harmony is the goal, but the means are contradictory to the goal: attack the other side and wipe out all opposing worldviews until harmony is achieved. Then love can reign supreme.

So when is the goal attained, and at what point are the undesirable worldviews successfully purged? When there is only one left? Impossible. There will never be one umbrella worldview. Humans are not naturally harmonious.

Humans seem to gravitate to one stark camp or the other of a problem.

So, the remedy for our differences? The answer is in the middle. Past our machine guns, out in no mans land. We humans love hiding behind our machine guns in our trenches, pelting insults at each other, hoping a mortar doesn’t fall and shatter us. The smoke can only hide all the damage we do for so long.

Step out of that trench, put your hands up, and honestly intend no harm. It’ll take recognition of your worldview, full understanding and command of it, and courage to admit it isn’t law. Raise the other side up, look them in the eye, and shake their hand. Ask questions, try your best to understand, and above all, respect their worldview; it has great value to them. You may find your worldview softens, as does theirs. The differences are there. They will always be there, but looking the differences in the face, seeing their emotion, their reason for being, will make them not seem so scary.

I believe the disconnect in our country would turn to genuine connection in the middle, a connection that could only forged by putting down our machine guns, shaking some hands, and embracing some opposing worldviews. Is it likely to happen that way?

As a whole, hell no. Humanity loves to be stuck, stubborn, and spiteful. Humans enjoy a good self-destruction. Plus humans love to fight. We’ve been doing it for centuries.

Individually, I hope to see you all out in the middle. I’m putting down my machine gun. Come shake my hand. Let’s talk. Let’s actually look at each other.

Instead of aiming our sights at something we can’t change.

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