How do you view the world?
I have been listening to a lot of Joe Rogan’s podcast lately. There are a lot of reasons for this but the primary reason right now is I’m going through audio books so fast on audible that I needed something to listen to while I drive to the office or go on my walks. I had heard a lot of things about Joe and have even met him in person. There was negativity and vitriol spewed in his direction without a lot of thought or care given to many things. Now, I’m not saying the man is perfect or that I agree with everything or even most of what he says or insinuates. However, I think if you you spend enough time listening to his approach, give careful consideration to his tact and you’ll see a man simply searching for knowledge and understanding.
We live in a massively polarizing world right now. You are either with me or your against me is the attitude and it’s a frightening and over-simplified view on human interaction. There are so few people that are clear cut one thing or have clear cut left or right stances. Most of us lean right on this and left on that. The interesting reason, at least in my mind, has to do with your experiences. You aren’t and shouldn’t be just what you read and hear. You are a human and have evolved to become the person you are today from the experiences you have had. For some reason we have turned into this other thing where you are either on the side of completely being without empathy or you feel so disconnected you don’t care. Yes, there are other sides and I’m absolutely oversimplifying but the fact I have to say that is proof that you have to now be precise because conversation to get understanding is a dying skill.
What is most often missed is the empathy required up front of a conversation about hard things or even anything. Understand that peoples beliefs and understandings come from the experiences they have had in their life. No one has ever experienced the things you have, not in the way you have and in the sequence that you have. So if we all look at the world through a different lense, where did the empathy go? How did we lose the ability to have a conversation with respect and positive curiosity? Again, all very general ideas that are my own and thoughts I’ve been having since I was a teenager but my idea is that intention no longer matters and it has to. We understand that intention matters in some criminal formats like murder. Was your intention to plan and plot this or did it happen in a moment of passion and anger. There are levels for that. We understand intention but it has continually lost merit.
If I had any advice it would be to stop trying to win arguments and start trying to better understand the other side. Don’t ask yourself if they are right or wrong or whether or not you agree. Ask yourself what the intention is and I think you’ll find a more clearly defined path to have a meaningful and insightful conversation and maybe even view of the world.