Monday, January 31, 2011

Transforming Anger

                This is a must READ! It is a great piece on how and why we relate to others.
Go read then come back and read my response.

It is simple and I often use this exercise when teaching art . Brainstorming. Having everyone in the group spend 5 minutes writing down their ideas then narrowing the list until every one is satisfied with the end result. By using inclusive language such as "yes and " we begin to add ideas together instead of the divisive either/or where we separate and compete.
Applying it to how we relate to issues and interaction with those that do not agree could work if all are open to the collaboration.
The problem pointed out in the article is we are breed to be competitive. Our parents begin competition before we are born and we compete for and about everything after.
 Sometimes it is a clear case of misunderstanding that a round table can quickly come to conclusions and resolve. Sometimes the information is interpreted differently that creates opposing points of view that again could benefit from a brainstorming session where a compromise could be reached.
Often we are faced with not just simple misunderstanding or interpretation, but misinformation which is undocumented and/or disproven by modern science and study. If all involved were to approach the table with documented facts based on scientific method and an open mind, I am sure that some conclusions could be reached and a compromise could be made to satisfy all.
The biggest hurtle is when those that believe the misinformation, create misinformation, and stand on their religious convictions as the truth. I  believe that if a person hears or says something often enough, it becomes the truth to them even if it's a lie. If you tell a child they are stupid long enough, they will begin to believe they are stupid. It is very hard to convince them otherwise even with proof such as good grades or positive decision making.
The same goes for for those who believe  the lies they were told, and/or created, and claim to have God on their side. No amount of documentation, no scientific data, and no real look at what is going on will convince this group that they are mistaken. Sometimes real facts get in the way so the data is down played as insignificant or blown off as "against Gods will". Even when they fall into the minority this group does not give up. Groups like the KKK are good examples of flawed thinking that is truly a minority yet continues to thrive.
As the public discourse and opinions change on matters of discrimination, the misinformation is replaced with fact and reflect the need for anti-discriminatory laws to help guide the governed.
This is where we stand on the subject of equal rights in general and LGBT equality in specific.
One side has the support against discrimination based on scientific research and study backed up by creditable organizations and about 50% of the total population. Freedom, justice, and equality under secular law for everyone is their goal. This side is offering a respect for differences as part of the solution.
The other side supports their argument for discrimination based on proven flawed research, gross misinformation, and the heart felt belief that "God said so".
The current debate is ugly. It is bringing out the best and worst in folks on both sides. While it would be interesting to bring both to the round table and see if they could come to any satisfying compromise, I don't see this happening. Passion will get the best of both sides due to our competitive natures and breeding.
My hope is that equality will be a reality in my lifetime and the fringe groups will sink into history as good examples of how not to treat other humans. I believe God, how ever you perceive her/him to be, loves us all equally. Until then, I pray I keep my cool in the face of discrimination.

To quote from Alvin McEwen, owner of the great blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters,
"Lies in the name of God are still lies."

No comments:

Post a Comment