Updated: Jan 11
Thoughts // This isn't a well structured, easily digestible blog post, it's a reflection of the ideas in my mind, as best as I can put them into words.
Church as a lecture. Every time I go to church, I learn. Am I a devote Christian? No. Do I agree with everything they preach? No.
Opposite points of view strengthen your own, if yours are based. If they aren't, you'll be too scared to listen to others.
The sermon this Sunday was about individual rights and freedom. Yet, it was presenting them in a way contrary to what I typically believe.
It made me think. My brain got a nice workout. I actually might listen to it again to really understand the message.
I enjoy understanding perspectives, even when they differ from my own. Not just agreeing to disagree, but to really grasp how that belief influences someone else's entire worldview.
An example. . .
Quote from the pastor this Sunday:
"If you really want to be free you have to stay needy — dependent — on all of Jesus."
Quote from one of my fav authors, Ayn Rand:
“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”
Do I accept one or the others opinions as the absolute truth? No. I believe they are both valid. The only one that matters to me is the one I have created from both of their influence.
Some might find this troubling, that I am not loyal to one belief system or the other. Is it a copout to only take the parts of philosophies that make sense to you? Perhaps. But maybe that's what we need more of. Less of us just accepting what others have created with full trust, and more of us using our own minds to assess, sort through, and form our own philosophies.
Step 1: Observe
Watch. Notice. Learn.
You can be an observer. Being an observer does not attach you to whatever you are watching. You have the choice to either reject or internalize what you witness from the outside world.
If I go to a concert and the artist sings about drugs, does that mean I am a drug addict? If a politician I admire says something troubling, does that mean I automatically support her in that statement? If I go to church does that mean I am religious?
It's elementary to assume "yes." Our brain wants the answer to be that simple. We want clear cut answers. We want black and white. The world, and individuals, are anything but.
I like to go to church as if it were a class. I don't think classes should ever be meant to teach absolute truths that you must accept blindly. That is what frustrates me the most about the current education system. We teach students to meakly accept that the teachers know best and that they must accept everything they teach.
Step 2: Create
Where's your own brain?
Where are your own thoughts?
Where will the CREATORS and INNOVATORS be if we are trained to conform in every aspect of life?
In education, we must find a better balance between learning to respect adults, grasping the fundamentals of life, as well as encouraging curiosity.
Maybe we must start with teaching the untamable, forever curious, individuals to embrace being ostracized— that if you have the mob chasing after you, you must be doing something right. We must focus on supporting those who already want to make progress rather than spend our whole lives fighting the opposition.
Every single "great" was once an average human. They had insecurities, they had breakups, they were confused about their career.
Are there prodigies that exist that had an incredible talent from birth? Definitely. But from meeting hundreds successful individuals around the world, I like to believe that what set the greats apart was not an inate talent, but a genuine curiosity and audacity to view the world differently. Not only that, but they acted on it with incredible determination.
What kind of world would we live in from here on out if we accept that in 2020 we know everything? That we are so advanced we must submit to our teachers and solely carry out their findings. What if they had done that in 1880? I bet they thought cars was as good as it would ever get. Anyone who wanted to think bigger was shunned, imagine the humiliation anyone experimenting with air flight must have gotten.
It's the idea you have now that seems too crazy and too big that is the one that will change everything— only if you have the courage to see it through.