Politics and personality

 

Elections are a good opportunity to explore what it means to have a personality 🙂

This personality supports Obama wholeheartedly, and others see him as a threat and a danger to Americans.

Why is that? Of course, it is easy to say that we are at different developmental stages. Or that conservatives are more – or differently – caught up in fear than liberals are. Or that we have more of an either adventurous or cautious personality based on evolution and biology. All of that may be true in its own way.

But from a practice perspective, there are other ways of looking at it that may be more interesting.

For instance, what happens when I identify with the personality? It naturally has preferences, which it should. What happens when these are solidified into beliefs? What happens when they are recognized as preferences only, and practical tools for functioning in the world?

Also, what do I find when I explore where these preferences come from?

In my case, I find that my political preferences come from my culture. I grew up in a culture with universal health care, free education through PhD, a low difference between those with highest and lowest income compared to almost all other countries. I have seen – and lived with – all of this working very well, so I naturally think it is a good idea. I got the values of solidarity through my culture, and I got to see it working well through experience.

Seeing this, I can more easily appreciate how others, who may come from a radically different background and experiences, have quite different preferences.

My preferences come from my background and my experiences. And the preferences of others come from their background and experiences.

It is not personal. And recognizing that, I don’t have to take it personally. I will of course continue to live from my own preferences – and act and vote from them – but I don’t need to take it as an absolute truth, or as something personal.

And I can explore how to express these preferences in a healthy and mature way. That is my task.

Initial outline….

  • good opportunity that it is only the preferences of the personality
    • formed by the background/experiences of this personality
    • others, other background/experiences/points of view
    • all valid from where they are coming from, makes sense to each of us, seems true
  • holding a little more lightly
    • releasing blind identification with it (see that it is just a point of view)
    • releasing identification out of it
    • curiosity about other points of view, finding the validity in them
  • act on what seems most helpful
    • based on heart + best judgment + inclinations of this personality (cannot escape, don’t need to escape, and is valuable)
  • each of our backgrounds/inclinations valuable
    • can be expressed in more/less healthy/mature ways
    • my task, find ways for this personality to express itself in more healthy/mature ways

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