I fear reason and logic have become overrated. I decided to look up what the definitions of these two words are, so I would have a clear understanding of that which is veering us off track.
reason:: the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.
logic:: reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.
It seems like they go hand in hand. Let’s combine them.
The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments according to strict principles of validity.
I believe this “validity” is the root of the problem. We all have different views on life and our world, and yet it seems there are certain ideas we consider to be ‘valid’.
We call upon religion, science, medicine, and law to define what is valid. Each based in a fluid medium. Each c-r-e-a-t-e-d and ever evolving. Science is re-adapted constantly, it is a way to understand our (mostly unexplainable) universe. New discoveries are made, old discoveries updated or discarded.
Medicine continues to be a practice. It varies around the world and is in fact, imperfect. Religion is has gone through countless iterations, with every believer understanding differently then the next. Law was created to help maintain order and agreements made. It must change with that whom is governs, and people are never-endingly changing.
We judge each other with such knowing vigor. This is Right and this is Wrong. In fact, we think right and wrong are so obvious that we would throw ourselves off the cliffs of kindness and humanity to persecute one another. So blinded that we do it in the name of protecting peace, or standing up for those who do not want our advocacy.
It’s all justified, we think. I know what is right. I have a whole team of people here that would agree with me. And so lines divide us. In every aspect of our lives, we draw lines to divide those on our teams from the other teams. We make friends with those that align with our values and we ridicule those who do not.
Every year I spend time at a small festival where we dance and play music. We spend a long weekend together, eating with people we just met. Falling in love with a stranger across the way pouring their heart out as they drum.
For years, I didn’t know anything about any of those people except what I experienced at this festival. I knew the sound of their laugh and how they moved their body to the music. I knew which instruments were their favorite to play. I could spot their smile across the vast field like a beacon of light and I would run towards it.
One day, Facebook gave me an opportunity to get to know them better. I saw their political, spiritual, community views. I saw how they interacted with others online. I saw where we aligned and where we didn’t.
I saw the organizer of the event do something so incredibly inspiring – he treated everyone equally. He didn’t point fingers. He didn’t ostracize a single person. You could be flailing around wildly and offending everyone and I believed that in his eyes, he just saw a Person. Something came over me so strongly. A dense wave. I realized it didn’t matter. All of our views and beliefs and online presence. We were humans, doing our best.
In that space where we left our masks at the entrance and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and exist in the quieter places of our soul, we were the same. There was unity and recognition. You could see it in everyone’s eyes. We were there to connect.
I wondered, once you see someone underneath their mask…which do you acknowledge? Do you forget how you saw them, free and joyful playing their music under the moon? Do you hold their mask as true and put on your own? Or do you remember their true face?
I couldn’t forget. I wanted to put down my arms. I was tired of fighting. I didn’t like pointing fingers. I didn’t like judging. Something seemed so inherently dysfunctional about feeling “right” and thinking someone else was “wrong”.
We judge naturally, to determine what is safe for us. I don’t believe it was to shame and chastise others. To create division. We can in fact disagree and respect and honor one another.
We are dynamic, changing beings. We change our mind over time, all of us. We take on new masks, try new things.
We allow larger societal systems to determine our kindness and understanding with one another. We stand behind political parties as though they were flesh and blood. And we forget each other.
We forget that we are human, and have the right to believe or support whatever we choose. Moreover, we each feel called to different things. I can love someone who stands against me because life is about variety. If we were all the same, what would be the point?
Most pointedly, I don’t write this to awaken compassion with you. I write this to say – be who you are. Loudly. And let other people be who they are too, exist together. Don’t hide those parts of you that are contrary to your circle. Celebrate them. Wave them around.
We are all phonies, because we are all multi-faceted beings. We cannot accurately portray ALL that we are, it’s impossible. So we choose which parts to play with publicly.
None of us are phonies, because we know that we are all choosing only a tiny part of the vastness that we are to portray as personality at any given time in our lives.
Sometimes, in my understanding of everyone’s view point, I lose my own. I feel as though I can’t stand for anything because I will alienate someone I care about. But we can’t be everyone. And we can’t align with everyone. That’s not the point. The point is to wave your own colors and let others to the same and to enjoy the variety of it all.
In this, you don’t need to convince anyone of anything. You don’t need to hide and you don’t need to remove people from your life who don’t agree with you. One of the most inspiring things to see is someone passionate about their stance, who respects and honors someone else’s stance. If feels…in sync. In sync with love and kindness.
Stand tall in who you are and allow those you love to do the same. Don’t try to agree. Just honor each other. Find your voice, use it. The world needs you to speak what’s in your heart.