Ask yourself how many times you’ve come to the conclusion that people are this way or that way, that the world is this way or that way, that life is this way or that way.
Democrats are such and such.
Blacks are such and such.
America is such and such.
Life is such and such.
Everybody does it, including myself. Heck, I just did it twice in that last sentence, but I digress…
Some of the greatest song lyrics, movie lines, and jokes are based on this type of mental short cut. And there is plenty of evidence that there is an evolutionary basis for these sorts of cognitive heuristics.
So there’s no sense and beating yourself up the next time you catch yourself engaging in this sort of behavior. It’s a manifesation of our genealogical lineage.
It’s in all of us; from Donald Trampa to the Bhudda.
But please be mindful of the perils associated with allowing this approach to become more than just an occasional and vestigeal mode of thinking. For example, it can and will:
-cause potentially irreparable harm to even the most intimate of relationships.
-it can lead to the demise of a business or career.
-it can lead the mind to dangerously dark – or dangerously light – places.
-it can infect the mind of any youth you come into contact with on a regular basis.
Ultimately, my personal belief is that this is yet another subtle byproduct of innumeracy and the lack of skepticism and scientific inquiry that innumeracy breeds.
All of the evidence currently at our disposal suggests that we live in a continuum. Mathematically speaking, this means that our universe is not static and it also means that there is always a degree of uncertainty and variability. This a truly remarkable and beautiful thing, as any physicist or poker player will tell you!
The world is unfolding via time-space. And that means that, for example:
-Republicans are such and such, but sometimes they are not.
-Whites are such and such, but sometimes they are not.
-Russia, China, Jamaica, etc. are such and such but sometimes they are not.
-Death is such and such but sometimes it is not.
Catch someone, including yourself, on any one particular point along life’s continuum and you will find that person’s turn to be the jerk, noob, loser, sinner, or even the local Donald Trampa.
But the opposite is true as well.
That’s just the nature of the universe. There’s no sense in fighting it. And who knows? Perhaps by keeping this fundamental principle in mind you may just end up manifesting a greater degree of compassion in yourself and others.
You might even be able to find a little for Barrack Hussein Obama and/or Donald Trampa, depending on what side of the subatomic particle spin you generally fall into…