inquiry: They should have more perspective

Statement: They should have more perspective.

  1. Is it true?
    No, I don’t really believe it although the thought certainly comes up now and then.
  2. Is it really true?
    No. (Apart from a certain perspective.)
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I get judgmental, and feel that I am right and they’ve got it all wrong. I become self-righteous, narrow minded, harden, close my heart off, create a sense of Us and Them, and more.
    • I run through in my mind all the areas where I feel many are coming from a far too narrow perspective: Being all obsessed by minor or insignificant issues such as terrorism and worse, when we have far more important issues to focus on and put our energy and resources into resolving, such as climate change, a graceful transition out of the oil age, toxins all around us and in our bodies, an economy that is built on assumptions of unlimited resources, corporate ownership of the media, excessive corporate influence on politics, and much more.
    • I notice my own views become polarized. I sometimes present issues others see as important as unimportant, even if acknowledging their importance, and then broadening the perspective, would be more effective.
    • How do I treat others? In my mind, I put them down. I sometimes run through dialogs or monologs in my mind where I don’t hold back: Why do you focus on something as silly as terrorism? Don’t you know that more people in North America are killed in traffic every week than died 911? Wake up and get things in perspective. Don’t obsess about minor issues when we are all facing serious and significant global issues. Don’t you care about the lives of your children and grandchildren? Why can’t we address terrorism, through the usual legal and international channels, without obsessing about it and get stuck there? Why do you actually follow Bush and others when they say “don’t look at this, look over there” to distract the public’s attention away from the serious issues?
    • I hold back saying those things, because I know it is all coming from contractions and reactiveness. So I either say something more polite, mature and inclusive while some of this is going on below the surface, or don’t say anything at all.
    • I experience separation. Us vs Them. And I see how easy it is to dehumanize the Them.
    • When did I first have that thought? At the very least by my mid-teens, if not earlier, when we learned about all of these things in school. Being shown in middle school a chart of multi-national corporations and how they own industry as well as the media was one of those turning points.
  4. Who would I be without that thought?
    Seeing the landscape more clearly, willing to work with it as it is without going into, and being distracted by, shoulds and contractions. Appreciating people for their engagement, although I see their stories and perspectives as limited and sometimes uninformed. Appreciating how we are all in the same boat. How we all want a world that works for us, although our strategies may be different.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • They shouldn’t have more perspective. They are coming from whatever space they have available to them. Also, they help me work on wanting people to be different and to do this inquiry. And they do have some good points.
    • They should have less perspective. Well, that would certainly trigger any beliefs and hangups I have around it, even more than now. And it would help them see the shortcomings of it even sooner, when the limits of their views run up against life. And it would probably motivate others to go the other directions and gain a broader and more inclusive perspective, and act on it in an even more engaged way.
    • I should have more perspective. Yes. I can accept the terrain as it is, and work with it as it is. I can find a broader and more inclusive place in myself, and act from there. I can find more of an eldership role, allowing and holding it all, coming from understanding and a sense of inclusiveness, while also speak up for and act on what I see as important. (As I have.)
    • I should not have more perspective. Not more than I have. It is what it is right now. And it includes the exact gifts I need, and the exact encouragements to move beyond it.
    • I should have less perspective. Well, it would certainly make me understand those people more. I would be like them in a quite literal and obvious way.

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