How do we understand life? At the crossroads of reason, looking at the world and deciphering what is happening (often called science) and faith, which is our belief of why things happen, (not only religion but also belief in scientific theories and determinations to not make any decision about the “big questions”) we “should” come to how we live, or culture. There are 7 billion people on the planet which means there are 7 billion versions of the answers to what, why, and how.
However, there is an agreed upon general idea of the answers to these questions in every group of people. While there will be variations in each person, culture is the place where we seek harmony in our answers, giving grace (or not) to those who have different answers.
The problem as I see it is: as we lose sight of our own beliefs in what the answers are, allowing the consensus to determine how things “should” be, the ensuing aggravation requires attention and demands action.
Within this problem there is not only understanding ourselves, but also, how to understand each other with respect to who each of us is, how our communication is different, and how each of us fits in the big picture.
Of course, this problem is overwhelming. None of us could possibly know the brilliant individuality of every human we personally come in to contact with, let alone 7 billion people. So, we use generalizations; gender bias, racial stereotypes, religious and ideological philosophies, geographical indicators, etc. as the framework within which we understand each other. Sadly, these generalizations tend to backfire because they are too broad, defining people within cultural biases that are incorrect.
Luckily, there is, I believe, a framework that gives a better indication of who people are as individuals. While this typology is only a frame, like the surrounding of a painting, it is universal (or at least global, encompassing all human beings) and offers the possibility of personal communication, relationship, and harmony and understanding between people.
Personally I still believe there will be some amount of friction between people. No solution is perfect for harmony and understanding because there are people who enjoy violence, drama, and/or testing others beliefs. But we need those people just as much as we need every other type of person.
So, my hope is to open a conversation with whoever reads this about how culture has missed the wisdom of reason and faith and left us uncertain of who we are, what is happening, why we are here, and how we all fit into this world.
I hope you will join the discussion. Let us know how you feel and what you think. Feel free to disagree respectfully, which means if you have an opinion, please back it up with facts (prove it), and if you have a feeling, express it with emotional language (I like/ don’t like…) instead of claiming that an idea is wrong. There are many ideas I don’t like, or don’t want to face the consequences of. However, this is an exploration, and sometimes exploring leads us down what seems like a wrong road. Still, I believe we will learn from even the most painful mistakes and joyous misadventures.
Thanks for being here. I hope you feel free and are challenged in your thinking.