Your Perception as Reality
It feels as if I am seeing and hearing the same messages over and over. When that happens, I have to tune-in and sort out what is entering my consciousness. Of late, the divisiveness of thought, opinions, and beliefs seems to be dominating the world. Everyone has a position on everything, and they want to share it; more often than not, negatively. Jay-Z drops his new album 4:44 and people are at odds about the value of the messages for the black community in The Story of O.J., and the Anti-defamation League takes issue with how Jewish people are portrayed in the same song. Politics, religion, social issues or something as innocuous as a contestant on a singing competition. It doesn't matter who or what the topic is, you will find staunch supporters and fierce opposition to them. And once the disagreements start the devolution into name calling, profanity and threats quickly emerge. Just read the comments section on a YouTube video or Twitter timeline. It's sad.
I know I've written about this before - why it's important to speak to people with opposing views. However, today I want to tackle the topic from a different perspective, of right or wrong, because for me this is at the crux of most issues. The idea that one is correct. I wonder is there really such a thing as right or wrong in most of the positions we struggle with as human beings? I'm not talking about violence or things on par with that. Reasonable people agree there are lines we should not cross. I'm talking about our perception, what we hold onto and fiercely defend as right. And, often attempt to sway others to see the issues as we do.
A Contrary Point of View
My husband believes it's encoded in my DNA to play devil's advocate. If he says black; I say white. It's true that I tend to take the opposing viewpoint, but it's not to be contrary. Much more than that, it has to do with wanting to understand different perspectives. You've heard the saying, one person's terrorist is another's freedom-fighter or walk a mile in my moccasins, yes? In essence, what you and I are being asked to do is recognize that there are perspectives other than our own that warrant consideration.
Take a moment to reflect on this quote (sorry, the source is unknown to me), "nearly everything you consider true is contextual, experiential, and based on the imperfect perception of incomplete information." You can swap out the word true for right (if that helps) and you begin to understand the subjective nature of thoughts and opinions. The truth, as we see it, is formed with self at the center of it all, not our next door neighbor or far-flung global citizens. To see another person's point of view and be comfortable with it sharing the same space as your own position(s) is a highly intelligent and an emotionally evolved response. It indicates that you recognize that you are not the center of the universe, but merely a part of it, just like everybody else.
Go Out on a Limb
Social scientists have confirmed my thoughts on group dynamics and being in agreement with others, which is that when an opinion is popular, it may be because individuals do not want to stand out from the crowd for fear of being wrong or alone. You've heard the expression it's lonely at the top. Well, it can be just as lonely when you have an opposing view to the majority of people. Mind you; some benefits come from being in a group. Like-minded folks aren't typically going to judge you. Groups can also provide you with a sense of community and strength as well as a cloak of invisibility. However, I would be remiss if I did not share some of the advantages of being a black sheep too. Namely, the desire to live and express your authentic self regardless of who's with you. Being an independent thinker is an asset. In today's world that isn't celebrated as much as it should be. We've been taught to conform or at least appear to do so for the sake of political correctness and harmony. Whether operating within a group or independently, in both cases, we should all be respectful of each other, what people value and believe.
The truth, as I see it ;), is that we need more people that are willing to voice their opinions; regardless of minority or majority status. Varied perspectives force you and me to consider that there's more to a story than what fits within our accepted categories and comfort zone. So go out on a limb, even if no one else is out there with you. I promise it will be an exhilarating experience when you start to express your unique perspective, not to judge or sway another. And certainly not as a means of elevating yourself above anyone else. The reason that this is so important is that you have a position, a perspective, and a voice that is wholly your own and it is meant to be expressed. And, it's needed within your sphere of influence.
To better understand how I view Hue and Culture click the link :0)