I probably have not mentioned it here, but I have pretty much always been a slow learner. Though I’m sure there are more than a few people who will choose to disagree, I tend to “make up for” that by coming out of learning situations with a much stronger understanding than does the average person.
I have a hard time thinking about any subject or situation from which I have not emerged with a “superior knowledge base” about which I cared at all. The less I care about a particular thing, the longer it takes me to learn about it to a level that makes me “dangerous” where that thing is concerned. That doesn’t mean I won’t come to know it, and know it well, just that it will take some time for me to “come up to speed” on that subject.
Probably of equal significance, is that I tend to attempt to adopt and apply a “holistic” approach to whatever I learn. The intent of my learning activity is to either fit what I’m learning into what I already know, or to realize that what I think I already know is incorrect, and modify that based on what I have learned.
If I had to guess—I have no “hard and fast facts” on this—I would say it’s about an “equal split” between these two happening (though I think it has moved in the direction of questioning more diligently the new thing learned as time has passed).
Overall, I find that I learn new things literally every day. That may come as a surprise to a lot of folks (particularly those who know me to be over fifty years of age), but it’s no less true for the probable folks having their eyes opened by this revelation, or choosing not to do so.
By this point, I’m sure you’re wondering what on Earth this has to do with the subject of this post.
Funnily, it has to do with one of my more in-depth studies, that being the study of human nature.
Seldom have I found a more important field of study to anyone who happens to be a member of any societal group, than the study of human nature. The reason for this is that for many people, simple human nature can “invalidate” what is actually true, real or correct.
Typically, this results from one of a couple of things:
- Folks have not delved deeply enough into what motivates people—themselves or others (or some other aspect of human interaction).
- Emotion “rules the roost” for the person looking at things and makes in impossible for them to apply logic and real and reasonable models for human behavior—that regardless the often irrationality and unreasonableness of human nature and resultant behavior.
After reading this, maybe you still don’t see the connection. Basically, it is that I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that most folks will not be convinced of what I understand to be truth, nor will they manage to convince me, based on my understanding of human nature.
This is particularly true where the discussion at hand is concerning something like politics. The reason? More often than not, people either allow the depth of their thought to be entirely superficial, or they allow their political beliefs to be motivated and their consideration of the human condition to be driven, by emotion, not logic.
The result of this epiphany on my part, is that I am more sure today than I have been in some time, that discussion of politics, and most especially time bound political discussions will rarely result in anything good.
I can hear applause in the distance (though sadly, for all the wrong reasons) as I write this. I can “hear” the thoughts. Things like, “Hooray! Finally, he wakes up.”
You should know that this is discouraging to me in the extreme. To know that most folks either don’t care about things that are extremely important to their future, or cannot consider those things without feeling attacked or emotionally “put upon” in some fashion when discussing them with others with whom they disagree.
I say this in part because, even when folks attack my positions on various things, I flatly refuse to chalk that up to intended animus. Rather, I assume they “like” what they believe, and don’t want it taken away by logical consideration and understanding of human nature (or, generally more correctly, lack thereof).
More often than not, it saddens me more for their sake, than just about anything else. That you choose to disagree with me is not so important a thing on the face of it. That history and human nature consistently prove you incorrect, on the other hand, is.
I’m fully aware that I can be wrong, and frankly, I do my best to be willing to be convinced when that is true. The problem is, most folks have no interest in trying to convince me of anything. And what makes that worse is that, if they ever did think that a reasonable course, most of them would feel attacked when what they said was approached and the light of logic and an understanding of human nature was applied.
What makes this worse is that I’ve come to another realization along with the one(s) already stated. I have come to the conclusion that:
- It would take far more time than I have to get people to see the flaw in their logic or perspective and
- For most folks, they would fight me from sunrise to sundown in order to attempt to keep their values and resultant positions.
You might try to argue that I am the same, but the truth is, I have become rather adept at arguing my values, positions and understandings. As a result, what happens most of the time is, I show a person where they are mistaken, only to have them attempt to prop up the same straw men I have already, not just knocked down, but often burnt to the ground, over and over again.
The result is, either they get tired (but generally do not change their minds), or I “run out of daylight,” and am unable to continue the discussion. Pretty much nothing worthwhile comes of such a discussion.
Having come to this understanding, I think it’s getting time to generally leave the discussion of things political, and concentrate on things that matter more to me.
You see, I’ve never been a fan of politics or things political. I discuss politics for the most part in an attempt to accomplish just two things:
- I want to convince the believer in the political process of the abject hopelessness of that process
- Considering the aforementioned hopelessness, I want for folks to understand that the absolute minimum of government that can be applied and employed in just about any situation, is the best solution.
To sum up, let me just say that, I will make it my business to speak as little about politics as I possibly can. Further, I will do my level best to discuss only “timeless subjects” when I feel the need to discuss things political. So, nothing that can even be remotely construed as an “attack on” a given political figure or activity (as it relates to particular individuals).
So from here, count on me talking a great deal more about religion (actually, more correctly, Christianity), philosophy and human nature, and using those discussions to both explain why I am who I am, and why I think others ought to “follow suit.”
So, inasmuch as it is possible for me, let me now say ta-ta to politics and hello to Christianity, philosophy and human nature. The added benefit being that I get to discuss things about which I care far more deeply in any case.
Thanks for reading.