Have you ever wondered where society is going with all this polarization?
Ideally we should all step away from petty moralism and judgement and instead really try to listen to people, try to understand what they are saying. Surely after going through this pandemic, a monumental shared experience, we must go easier on each other? Yet, so many of us are prone to moralism and rapid judgement. Over the last few years we seem to have landed in a polarization vortex that has been amplified by social media.
On a daily basis all of us come across motivated reasoning. Motivated Reasoning is defined as a form of reasoning in which people access, construct, and evaluate arguments in a biased fashion to arrive at, or endorse, a preferred conclusion. Does this sound familiar?
Our quickness and willingness to hate, distrust and question each other’s motives is interfering with our ability to address what is needed in our society. To find the truth and develop a good norm for an open society when everyone’s voice is heard. Where every race, gender & religon is respected. An inclusive society that celebrates diversity of looks as well as thoughts.
So the main lesson here is that if we can learn to be less judgemental of each other, we can live harmoniously together.
Xuanzang, Zen master from 7th century China, said
“The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely far apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind”
Of course, we have judgement in our daily life for a host of tasks and decisions, yet we should develop the ability to step out, say during meditation, and see what our mind is doing. This will show us how our mind works, and we will then have the ability to say 'NO! I am not going to go on a crusade and condemn someone or something'.
If we can turn down the volume on our judgement, take the wisdom from ancient sages and meditation, we’ll be much happier as individuals. Only then can we actually bring the type of changes that we need in order to live happier lives together.
Based on an interview with Jonathan Haidt