Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finding Calm

Finding calm means I don't have to jump to conclusions about what other people are thinking, where they stand on issues, where I stand in response, or how I'll present myself to them.  It isn't easy.  A large part of me screams out that I should increase stature in the eyes of others, and do it right now, and if I can't do it, fuck them, it was there fault anyway.  This had led me to seeing situations a bit clearer than previously in my life, and trying harder to maintain an open mind on any particularly intractable and thorny issue. Some people, for instance, just make me seethe with anger and frustration, and all I want to do is open up my mouth to shut them up or let them know how wrong they are.  Of course, this instinct is partly there, I think, because their views are not just something which I disagree with for academic reasons, but, because at some level, I think that following their view would lead to greater trouble or less apt coordination among people.

Teams are good ways to coordinate, and we are highly social creates who happen to naturally fall into teams for this reason.  Thus, part of my intuitive response to disagreements has to do with team loyalty and also to how I've rationalized my gut instincts. In other words, there's a good reason why I want to react to people I disagree with--at some level, I think their management and goals are wrong.  At the end of the day, we might think that we each individually have the best idea for how to actualize the greatest good.  I might be liberal because think that society has been unfair to certain groups of people, and that government should play a role in rectifying that process, and someone else might think that the private market should have a higher role in the process because it will be better and more efficient at meeting that goal.  Often our ideas come from our social standing.  Maybe I work for the government and this other person works for a bank, for instance.  But it's not a mistake that we both develop world-views that fundamentally adhere to our lives' facts.  It is a successful strategy for teamwork if we coordinate, instead.

Knowing this allows me to step back from personal conflict and understand what's going on a little more, and to be a little less engaged in the process of competition for viewpoints.

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