ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

Coming Up Short

When one looks for someone/something to blame, growth cannot take place. By owning it, however - taking personal responsibility - we are empowered to better our lives; to improve every part of ourselves. Acknowledging that life is not "good" or "bad" rather that it simply is. Our relationship with ourselves, and to a larger degree life, is what assists us in seeing where that improvement may or may not need to take place.

Its not just a matter of questioning everything around us, but also ourselves. Is the entire world really against us or are we making the same mistakes over and over again? Imagine an infinite plane as represented by the black field below. This infinite black plane represents everything that is unknown to you. The white circle represents all that is known to you. The boundary between the known and unknown (black vs white) represents your capacity to be aware of and to question the unknown. The less you know the fewer questions there are. The more that becomes known to you the more questions present themselves. This ever increasing dynamic of the boundary between the known and unknown sometimes drives me crazy. The more I learn through introspection the heavier the burden of my questions becomes. The bitch of it is when you really get this ball rolling there is no stopping it and there is certainly no going back, you can’t un-know something.*

The black & white thinker's recap from *actual* conversations I've had:

  • Win7 is AMAZING!

    • "So what you're saying is that its the best operating system on the planet and you renounce unix?"

  • Just because Massachusetts put a Republican in the senate doesn't mean that they were trying to send a message, nor that the rest of the country feels this way - while that's a valid opinion, and very likely a correct one, its still just your opinion.

    • "How sad that you admit to personally wanting to fulfill the agenda of Our Dear Leader Supreme Dictator for Life His Royal Majesty Lord Barack Hussien Obama, The Most Merciful."

See how the responses were completely opposite than my statements? Not "I see your point, let me clarify my own" rather, "If you don't entirely agree with me, then you must mean the opposite." Every single time, time and time again. Where is the pursuit for mutual understanding in that? Where is the desire for a consideration of ideas outside one's own? I start every hypothesis with seeking viewpoints which differ from my own, not by assuming I'm right and everyone else is stupid.

I rejected the statement, "Maybe someone who thinks solely in black & terms recognizes happiness differently, so they really are happy just in their own way." due, in part, because of the hypothesis that those who think in binary terms - 1s & 0s, on or off, everything is 100% one direction or 100% the other, cannot see any other answer in-between, and many of us fear the unknown. Anything which falls between two knowns is an unknown, and therefore feared. How can happiness and fear peacefully coexist?

`If we think in false dichotomies we will tend to draw false conclusions. Black and white thinking often reflects an underlying reluctance or refusal to deal with the uncertainly that results from complexity in an absence of definite answers. But leaping to flawed conclusions because you can't tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing is not about truth or curiosity, but comfort.`*

Mutual understanding however, is about the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. So on one side, we have truth, and the other, comfort. There are those who will walk the path with me, between the two logically, until mutual understanding is gained. Those who won't can do nothing but blame.
Tags: cognitive distortion, five-star post, personal responsibility, philosophy

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