Anyone who has read my previous posts knows I never seem to pick a side on any topic. This could appear cowardly, but this is just not the case. Many things, including current events, are just not black and white (pun intended). Everywhere I look I see people so quickly jumping to a decision based upon a news article they read. They effectively create more conflict by taking the words of a journalist, who is spinning a story for the purpose of selling said story, and taking it as the gospel. Therefore, you end up missing facts and hearing, more often than not, one-sided story based upon the media outlets agenda and influences.
I have only recently made this change in my approach to societal issues with my return to education. After high school I joined the military and spent about 5 years of my life experiencing the real world in a trial by error manner. I have been to 11 countries and experienced a plethora of cultures. I have experienced much in my short time on this Earth. I don’t say this to boast about my life, but to back up my point. Through all these experiences, I still held a very much black and white approach to the world and would quickly embrace a side based upon the first set of facts presented. This would lead me to being biased and closed-minded to any other contrary information. When returning to education life started to appear to me in ways hadn’t imagined before.
The point is that without both education and experience you never have the full picture and cannot knowledgeably speak on a topic. Take for instance, the riots in Furgeson; I am a white mid-twenties male who has never experienced racial discrimination. I have studied on ethical and sociological aspects of race, but this doesn’t make me knowledgeable. This makes me informed, but not wise.
I try in most instances now to look at the very basics of a conflict. I acknowledge the common ground one can find between the two opposing forces. I have found that often there is a fair amount of agreement within every disagreement, yet, we so often pass over these details. The details that could allow for civil discussion. Well, civil discussion in an ideal world at least. I also find the very basic arguments from both sides, and ignore the fluff added for dramatic effect. Once I do that I realize I cannot truly make an informed decision, and find that both sides have significant validation. This is the reason we have conflict, because the reality is that there are no immediate solutions to the problem. Each conflict takes an approach that requires a large amount of time, something most people don’t have nor want to spare in the first place.
This doesn’t make me infallible. I by no means follow this advice as closely as it would appear. Often the best advice we give is the same advice we don’t follow. Being human means we are going to collide and be in some way contrasting from everyone. What makes us good is our ability to tolerate differences and work through these problems. With all things, it requires practice and admittance of fault in our self-reflection.
Thanks for reading and as always I love you guys!