Friday, 5 October 2012

Living On The Edge

It would seem to me that when it comes to religion, politics, and other sensitive subjects people tend to get offended not necessarily because what you say is actually offensive, but rather because it makes them realize there is another side of the coin. Even to label something offensive is disingenuous as what offends one may resonate deep truth within another. Everything is about perspective, and when you are afraid to change your perspective this is most often where those sentiments of insult come from.

I will add a small caveat and say that there are, of course, things in this world that could be deemed egregiously offensive not out of a fear of differing views, but rather out of attacks on your humanity and spirit - on things you can't change. On who you are. Things meant to degrade, demean and disrespect, rather than to inspire thought. Diatribes, if you will.

However, aren't those, too, all relative? Even that is subject to the perspective of the individual.

I digress...

Being exposed to the other side of the coin can makes one see that there is another opinion that differs from theirs, and it can scare them. It scares them because it means they will have to delve deep inside of themselves, and maybe even mean that they have to go through a long and arduous process of questioning and restructuring current beliefs, or even develop and discover an entirely new system of beliefs. It can be mentally exhausting, and mental exhaustion takes its toll both short and long-term. Thus, it can be quite a daunting concept to question one's own beliefs - and this seems more true the longer those beliefs have been held by the individual.

When you cling to a belief system simply because you are afraid of exploring alternatives you do yourself a disservice. When you take offense to something so personally it is because somewhere deep inside what that person is saying rings true (see caveat) - otherwise, it would be a mere absurdity that you could laugh off or disregard without any negative physical or emotional effect.

But is it not best to face our fears head on? Is that not when the most progress in terms of personal, professional and spiritual growth are achieved? Are we so determined to label the world as one thing or another that we will disregard all logic-substantiated arguments to the contrary? (The key words, of course, being logic-substantiated). Is it not best to embody humility and admit when we may have been wrong?

I can honestly say that I have weighed both sides of the coin in my beliefs because I believe it's the only way to truly come to understand what belief system rings true deep inside you. I am not afraid if, at some point, I reassess and determine that I was wrong. I can also say that throughout my life I will continue to look at the heads and tails of things in order to maintain a third perspective beyond those two options - objectivity. The edge of the coin, if you will.

I suppose, to conclude rather simply, that I can surmise that I like to live on the edge. Comme ça, je suis à l'aise. Et vous?

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