I know better than to suggest the world has not changed, because I know that it has, many times over, and will change yet again. I know for fact that the sun rose in the west and set in the east at one point in earth’s history. The world is far from immutable.
That’s why it is so frustrating to see minds that are immutable, and I mean really immutable. Anything that challenges some perspectives on the world is not be met with curiosity, or with a need to understand, rather it is met with the stiff-arm of fear and lack of vision.
Of all the immutable questions of love, happiness, justice, equality, liberty, and meaning, “What do we owe each other?” seems the most perplexing, and least considered. I personally cannot give other people love. happiness, equality, liberty and meaning; but, I can give them the opportunity to discover those experiences for themselves.
THOSE ESSENTIAL HUMAN QUESTIONS ARE DOABLE
Providing the opportunity is a doable goal, but as a goal it becomes more complicated when the people we serve expand in numbers. The sandbox gets crowded, and intra-personal difficulties arise. Symbiosis is defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups. This is a concept that is easy to understand at its basic level in the animal or plant world, more problematic for humans in the real world. The larger our groups grow, the relationships become increasingly fuzzy, though of even greater significance.
Fear often results in the stiffening of resolve, the stiffening of defenses, and unfortunately a stiffening of the mind. Flexibility and rational thought often leave the building. Irrational fear causes us to stiffen our thinking to the exclusion of the long or rational view. We shut out reason and fact and respond to primal fears with a fight or flee instinctual response. Some fight, demonizing their foes to justify their anger or irresponsible behavior. Others through up a shield to flee the consequences of their personal fears. Some of my fundamentalist Christian friends use their religion to mask real issues. Turn it over to God and all will be well. They won’t deal with the problems. I don’t think God believes in serendipity. I think God intends us to resolve these differences. We are supposed to exert some influence on our world.
IMMUTABLE MINDS ARE OUR GREATEST ISSUE
One friend told me that only God could change the climate. Rush Limbaugh actually asserted that we cannot destroy what God has created- this in reference to man-induced climate change.
I suspect he will have a hard time explaining murder, or the deaths of so many soldiers in so many wars.
The biggest issue we face then is our immutable minds… We can comprehend anything: voyages to distant planets or solar systems, plummeting to the depths of our smallest molecular structures, we can invent anything when fear is not a limiting influence, or maximum profit for ourselves.
Not any longer.
We are at a crossroads. Knee-jerk reaction from fear or anger is not prudent. We must face the differences.