Martin Luther King Jr. said “We must work together as brothers or perish as fools.” I’m concerned we are acting a fool. This week I brought the rainbow swazi to University of Utah for a Ben Shapiro speaking event.
I’m actually not on either side, but I want to inspire everyone to:
* Think for yourself
* Question everything
* Don’t believe everything you read or hear, especially if it’s from a side you agree with
* Inoculate yourself from ideologies
* Think of innovative ways we can work together while celebrating our differences. It seems to me a wiser investment of our thinking power than proving who is right and wrong
Why do I use the swastika? In my experience, it's an effective tool for exercising the brain to see new perspectives. It's not a universal hate symbol. To many, it means good wishes and represents the spiral energy at all levels of the universe (atoms, planets, stars, and galaxies - they all spin). Virtually all human cultures throughout recorded history have used it in some form and it's also a sweet looking 20-sided polygon. Love those angles, looking good babe ;)
If a perceived hate symbol can have another side, perhaps other divisive subjects can as well. Mahatma Gandhi touched on this when he wisely said “Every story has 7 sides.”
Some say for any belief one holds, one should be able to argue the opposite side even better than their opponent. If you think people shouldn’t take a knee during the national anthem, then you should be able to convince someone why they should. Only then, when you can argue better against your view than others, have you done the work to hold an opinion.
Great thinkers, like Darwin, did the work necessary to hold an opinion. When Darwin encountered opinions or information that ran contrary to his ideas, he gave his best to not only listen but not to rest until he could either argue better than his challengers or understand how the fact was true.
Love Bernie? read Trump’s book
Love Trump? read Bernie’s book
Love capitalism? Convince someone that socialism is best
Love socialism? Convince someone that capitalism is best
If you just felt a twinge of ‘Hell no!’ with these suggestions, you might have just experienced something called Naive Realism. Your views are right and correct, so why waste time with the other ‘stupid’ side? ;)
Naive realism is the human tendency for us to believe our views of the world are objective, and we see things as they truly are. If other’s don’t agree, they must be uninformed, irrational or biased. We all have this in some form with varying degrees regarding different subjects. Jonathan Haidt, a Harvard professor and author, suggested this is likely the #1 reason we don’t have more world harmony.
*Side note: I suggest the next presidential debate should have a section where each candidate has to argue the other person’s side. The winner is the one who does it most convincingly. This would show a thorough understanding of the issues.
Telling the other side they are wrong and you are right doesn’t address the bigger challenge which is … How do we work together despite our disagreements about objective reality?
I want to be clear, it's important to call out lies, myths, etc. This is a vital role we need people to fill. However, it would also be great to see all sides brainstorming ways of working together despite their differences.
My research and intuition tells me we need to evolve innovative solutions. Hopefully my art stimulates people to push the boundaries of their thinking.
Look in places you haven’t thought of yet. Ask yourself, “What could I be wrong about?” Doubt is a powerful sharpener of ideas.
Embrace paradox. We do and do not know what is going on. Neils Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, was discussing the wave-particle duality when he famously remarked: "How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have hope of making progress."
Instead of a video with the subject "How to beat right-wingers and win", perhaps a better one is "How to beat naive realism so we all win".
With all that said, don't totally believe anything I'm telling you. I'm learning every day and my beliefs are evolving as I journey through this meat suit adventure. Perhaps, put my words in the "Might Be True" category until you get more information and test all this for yourself. The worst that happens is you learn something new.
Regardless of our color, shape, convictions or where we come from, we all share the everyday experience of being human. We all know what it's like to be hungry, to be children, to hurt, and to dream. I think we all agree a lot more than we disagree.
I really believe in humans. At our best we are deeply compassionate, infinitely creative, wildly hilarious, and beautiful beyond words. Let's not let our stone age minds guide us in these space age times.
Evolve with me,
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