willful ignorance and honor

let’s go with these negative/positive headers
for a bit and see where it takes us…

yesterday i was contemplating hate –
giving it some thought so that i can be
mindful right now not to veer in that direction.
(thanks, therese, for your incredible comment
that you left. if you guys haven’t seen it,
it is sooo worth checking out!)

today i’m thinking about the division that
is caused by that hate, and how i am playing
a part in it all. (therese’s comment had a great
part about division as well.)

i walked this morning and thought about the everyday
happenings around us that we choose to be a part of –
conversations, computers and media, entertainment,
and our thoughts – these are some of the things that came to
mind quickly.

conversations – are we having ones that are inclusive?
do we put our opinions out and assume the person we’re
talking to agrees with us? do we ever ask the other person
what they are thinking? do we ever start with ‘i don’t know
how you feel about this, here are my feelings, i’d love to
understand yours.’ do we stop long enough not to just ‘hear’
but to UNDERSTAND? is anything other than agreement
judged as wrong? is that judgment extreme? do we even
notice? is there room for people to be ‘good people’ at
the same time that they believe in the opposite of our beliefs?
do we tell ourselves that ‘of course there is room for that’ all
the while there really isn’t? are we fooling ourselves with
who we are actually being? do we use extreme language or
language that divides? do we use labels and names and broad
brush strokes for groups of people?

okay, so right there, i see a ton of room for my own improvement.

then i moved on to computers and media –
has it even occurred to us that our news sources are absolutely
biased? does that very question make us defensive? if so, why?
do we understand how they are biased? do we notice?
have we ever stopped to hear the words? are they divisive?
inflammatory? slanted? true? opinion presented as fact?
how do we respond to these words/tones/biases?
do they feed something we want? do we take what is said as
truth without looking deeper? have we ever gone to the original
speech, document, or event and actually listened/read for ourselves?

it is only with great luck that i discovered jordan peterson before
he was labeled ‘alt right.’ i was so puzzled by that label as he’s nowhere
near that. (and again….where there’s a label, one should always be careful)
i think that if i didn’t know him ahead of time, i would have
just assumed he was someone i wanted to stay away from. and i would
have missed SUCH an incredible force in my life. how does anyone get so MISLABELED and have it keep on going? is there some kinda need for this that we agree to and want?

are we asking ourselves these questions and listening for our honest answers?

entertainment – what are we filling our heads with? are we bringing
ourselves up or down? are we choosing things that make us more, or
accepting things that make us less? do we believe that every choice we
make matters? do we make the correct choices for ourselves?

thoughts – am i listening to the thoughts of others and claiming them
for my own without question? do i understand anything i claim to know?
do i have simple answers for complicated problems? when was the last
time i came up with my very own thought – not someone else’s? when
was the last time i questioned something i ‘knew’? am i actually thinking
deeply or do i prefer to stay on the surface? why?

this is a lot.
all i can do is speak for myself.
and i can tell you that i have a lot to pay attention to and work on.
but probably the most important thing i can do,
is to stop being willfully ignorant.
i don’t get a pass for being ignorant.
if i’m not learning, growing, trying to be more responsible in my
thoughts, words and deeds, i am indeed part of the problem right now.
if i am assuming, coasting, not listening, i am part of the problem.
and absolutely, if i have all the answers, i am part of the problem.

honor, i believe, is owning that.
honor, i believe, is trying to find your way out of a life time
of lazy thinking and lazy actions.

i sincerely believe every single one of us is adding to the division
we are experiencing right now in one way or another. let’s own it.
let’s become more.

let’s strive to get away from the ignorance and head toward the honor.