DARE 2 DOUBT PART 2 Oldies But Goodies Are Baddies
From the moment we are born, we create our greatest hits list. It is modified every single second of every single day. We love to create playlists within our minds that continually churn and grow and evolve.
These playlists, or the greatest hits of our mind, may console us, depress us, stagnate our growth, or motivate us. But they are ours to enjoy. We enjoy these wonderful tunes so much that we sometimes try to force these greatest hits onto others, expecting them to relish in the goodness that we find in them.
"Women tend to do this. Don't you think so?" (You should agree with me)
"Men are always that way!" (Don't you think so?)
"Every time I ate there, I got sick!" (Implying...no one should eat at this place)
"Children should not behave that way!" ( My values should be the best rule)
"That movie sucks! Don't see it!" ( My opinion carries a lot of weight)
"I hate him. Don't you?" ( Please agree with me )
"I'll never do that again!" ( I failed, but at least I learned...help...I need an excuse )
"I am a horrible parent!" ( I am not good because I am not skilled or learned )
"I am not a good person!" (I feel horrible, so will you please acknowledge that?)
"I don't know how to do that!" ( Ignorance is my defense here )
"What's the point?" ( I give up )
"I fail anyway, so why should I try?" ( My track record is defeat )
"I suck whenever I do that!" (I tried it a few times, so my way shouldn't work for anyone)
These seem like finalities or ultimatums. And they can be. The greatest hits in our minds are often very emotional and carry a lot of weight in determining our moods. We have individual frames of reference that we like to think of as truths. Experience is our best teacher, we think. But what we do is draw quick conclusions on very little evidence. And we often base major decisions on these quick conclusions.
"Three strikes, and you're out, man!" Even though the greatest baseball players and good only three out of ten times, we love to be critical of our few failures. The greatest hits give us comfort, it seems. They are the oldies but goodies. But they are the baddies also.
And it gets worse. Our hasty generalizations of how life works, generalizations that only can be modified by ourselves hypocritically, are applied in our learning of new concepts and our relationships, in our wins and our losses.
"I knew our relationship would never work!"
"I never could do that job, and I should never have tried!"
"Mama told me about boys like you!"
"I never was good at math!"
"I never liked musicals!"
"I hate country music!"
"How many times will it take to get it through my stupid head?"
We want solids. We want things or rules that give us a sense of foundation. We want to have a few sets of patterns that do not change but that give us meaning to everything. We want a few sentences to resolve everything. Oh, if we only had one God, one prayer, and one rule. Or others might say, "Thank god I have no gods and no rules." We want simple fixes. One way or another. Either or. This or that. Black or white. A few motivational words to apply everywhere. And once we have our greatest hits refined to the point of comfort, we dare anyone to challenge their authority.
"It was good enough for grandpa and it is good enough for me!"
"Well, this is how I think about it!"
"The best philosophy is this!"
"The worst answer would be this!"
So I want to start this quest for thinking with this thought.
What if you are wrong? What if what you know to be true is wrong?
Would you dare question your own settled mind?
Could you dare to be wrong? Would you be open to being wrong? About anything?
Would you be open to evidence? Or have you made up your mind and that's it?
We start this trip by recognizing that everyone has a point of view, valid in their world. Perhaps it isn't valid in reality ( don't worry we will come back to this ).
Everyone has opinions. Sometimes they are strong opinions. But if we are going to learn anything, we must be open to being wrong.
So I want to start realizing that all of us, right now, at this very moment, are stuck. We have our minds made up and know that we are right. It is comforting to be right, isn't it? Is it an ego thing? I would argue maybe but not always. Humans, just like dogs, cats, pets, wild animals, and creatures of every kind love to be safe and secure. Differences in thoughts disturb us. Differences are unsettling. We want things to have patterns and work in a certain way. And when things don't work, we resort to our playlists, the only constant in our minds. We fail because we are failures, we say. We succeed because we are good or talented or greatly skilled. ME. ME. ME.
So, before we start looking at what is good or right or wrong or correct, we must first realize that we all have the baggage of assumptions. These assumptions that work to either encourage us or keep us depressed, these same old tunes, must be recognized before we begin to look at reality or even attempt to define reality.
We are going to have to set aside our playlists, get out of our mindset just long enough to see the bigger picture, and ask tougher questions than we ever have asked ourselves before.