More than ever in my living memory we are suffering under a plague. And it’s not what you think.
It’s the PLAGUE OF RIGHTNESS. Far worse than COVD19. More sinister. Harder to identify. More eroding of community.
This last weekend alone I observed the following conversations on social media:
• Diatribe both for and against Trump (to be expected)
• Whether a local mushroom foraging page should support threads about the use of psychedelics
• Arguments over the price of a loaf of handmade bread on a buy/sell group
• Disagreements over trees in the UK. Yes trees.
• Bitter discussion around whether one should forage for acorns or whether they should be left for the wildlife
• Condemnation, and subsequent defence of a woman’s homemade crumble using foraged foods – some thought it looked delish and suggested tasty accompaniments while several thought her crumble mix looked like a combination of dirt and soot…
• Someone even thought to take issue with a fundraising post I shared to raise money for a community bore in Zimbabwe
Anyone spotting a theme??
Regardless of how innocuous one might consider a discussion on social media right now, or in any forum, there will be dissent. No matter which side of the hypothetical fence one sits on, there will be those who sit on the other – and declare it, LOUDLY, to be so. It seems we just can’t let anything go in 2020.
One must be either FOR something or AGAINST something. This is in fact the reason I stopped going to church with my family as a teenager; the idea of taking a side, sticking adamantly to it and defending it, even as an 18 year old, didn’t make sense to me. There just didn’t seem any space for changing ones mind or even any open discussion.
I’ll stop short of declaring what I think we should do about it! That would be somewhat counterintuitive! But I’ll tell you what I personally am attempting to do.
STOP responding to every post I see on social media that I feel like I don’t agree with – especially if I feel a fast, strong reaction! STOP engaging in discussions featuring polar opposite opinions. ASK myself what I hope to achieve before pressing SEND or POST. Am I just looking for people to agree with me; am I looking for a fight? Am I really looking for open dialogue or am I just seeking to perpetuate my own rage?!
We’ll be hosting some conversations about judgment, duality and polarisation over the next few weeks and talking through what we might do instead. We’d love to know what you think. But only if you agree. Just kidding!!
As always we like to include some free content that you can access easily and share more broadly with your friends if you like what you read.
This blog post is a good introduction into identifying judgment and considering an alternative.
Jean Elizabeth Glass, one our regular writers, tackles JUDGEMENT from a worldschooling perspective.
This mini course by Michael Weitzman, is a great, easy introduction to meditation and daily practice and we’ve included it because it’s important for anyone wanted to access inner peace to include a way of quieting thoughts and neutralising what is going on externally.
Sandra Vincent, worldschooling parent and regular contributor, talks about what to do when things don’t quite go to plan. This is a great lesson for all of us this year and an example of how we can let go of attachment to ideas that no longer serve us.
My hope for all of us, is that when we encounter opinions that provoke a strong feeling in us, that we might access that part of us, that we can all remember if we quiet our mind, that relates to all others and seeks understanding rather than condemnation. The ultimate in empathy surely is imagining that we could feel someone else’s point of view.