There is a interesting phenomenon that makes human progress arduous, difficult, and sometimes, almost impossible. Even though we have democracy and are theoretically able to vote on solutions that would best support everyone – we are not able to get there. One of the big road blocks is the opinionated self.
The opinionated self, which nearly all of us possess, is the desire we hold to be special, to have the answer, to be the leader, to control the outcome, to be famous and to be in the center of attention. To reach this status of godhood we create opinions – our own opinions. And then we strive to market our opinion and argue against others that hold a different opinion – and because everyone tends to hold their own opinion – there is a lot of arguing going on. This makes cooperation very difficult. In-fact, it seems as if the only part of society where we are somewhat average at cooperating is when it comes to monetary survival. When are given a salary, and threatened to be fired unless we comply with company guidelines, we are barely, and for a moment, able to let go of our opinionated self’s and focus on bringing through the message/direction of a entity larger than our own individual self.
However, when we are not threatened to be fired, and when our survival does not depend on it, cooperation, agreement, communal support and understanding, is difficult to find. This becomes clear when you take a visit to Youtube. For example – I follow many organizations that have a message that – if implemented in society – would definitely have some supportive outflows. However – in the comment-section – what is prevalent is the arguing about different opinions and vantage points. The arguments back and forth – about who is right and who is wrong – takes precedence before discussing – how to implement the solution or how to find common ground to make things better.
This is one of the primary reasons why it is so hard for us to find solutions and make things better – we simply have not learned how to agree, how to find common ground, how to establish our common principles, and how to work for the greater good. Instead of establishing and working with common principles – we become stuck in a mind-state of trying to win with our own personal opinions. It is fascinating to see the behavior unfolding – because everyone seems to think that they hold the answer, the key – which causes them to be blind to what they are actually doing – which is spreading seeds of division.
Contrary to common belief – democracy has because of our inability to stand together – disempowered rather than empowered us. And it is unfortunate – because if we could learn how to collaborate and care for one another – democracy holds the key to creating heaven on earth. Though – because we are divided – we are weak. Individually – our impact is limited – collectively – we change the character of the world.
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