“Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man” Aristotle
Is Perception, intuitively driven? It would seem not. Are we inclined, when emotional, to bother with empathy or is that too long winded when we need to get our point across?
Do we not tend to think we have good reason to be right on this or that subject? Sometimes, the sky seems overcast by way of another’s opinion and frankly do we care that much, if at all and do we then, simply lose interest? Most of us have the inclination to talk, not listen, especially if the matter is one that stirs the heart and interest. Most of us experience upset when we are misunderstood, unhappy if we feel cheated out of our view. We think we grasp the subject, but our programming determines our ability to communicate and how we go about it.
When I told some that I was writing on Perception – the amusing, quick witted lot, replied with retorts such as “You may think you are!” or “Can’t see it myself!” – Ha! Well, that is the point. That is it – it is not just the problem with culture and its myriad of differences, from the Zulus only settling in blood and the Scandinavians beaten into submission post-Viking era, developing a consciousness that spread with balance and unity to all, leading them to discuss and negotiate. Most in `The West’ shudder at the notion that one should go into battle, thinking it un-evolved.
Now, the world is a beacon of Social Media, where we are led to believe that we are genuinely Citizens of the World. We are dogged with views, many opinionated and over bearing and some plain stupid but many are awakening and from cultures born thousands of years before ours! The negatives stir the heart into a frenzy, turning our gentle hands to fists. On the other hand, cultures that are not risk averse, open their arms to learning and growing and on the whole our children benefit from this wholesome legacy.
We seem to blend where the understanding is cohesive when we take the time and find a thing or two in common. We feel more at ease if we can build communities that focus to flourish (as tribes have always done). I interviewed a brilliant psychologist. He told me that the 7.442 billion beating hearts in this world (2016) are placed into 5 personality groups! How anybody achieved that tot up is extraordinary! Evidence suggests that we programmed in a few short years.
It remains that we judge when challenged and prefer the yielding to our ideas, wanting our own way, even going to the extreme of barging into ancient cultures and enforcing our views and systems as the way forward, breaking them down and dissipating their historical culture.This is rather easier than expending the energy required for Compassion, which is a sacrificial act in its finest form and Agape love, given simply because we are Human, simply because we can
We are all motivated and moved by our experiences and those of our families; this may be impossible to change entirely. It is too easy to generalize and judge and this is Emotion driven by Fear. The only way to go is with our hearts remaining sufficiently mindful to recognize that we are all fragile and vulnerable, often to the very same fears despite all our differences.
By Christel Cowdrey