Blog #6
Understanding ourselves as part of history – finding objectivity

Written by
Lory Kaufman

It’s been said that to change any fundamental aspect of a civilization for the good we have to ‘change people’s hearts. This means it all comes down to changing the way people think. Individuals must make an effort to become self-aware, and to gain an objective perspective of the world around them. Hard-core economists, who insist that economics is a science and this approach is touchy-feely, may object. Others insist that economics is best promoted as a philosophical study leading to a long-term way for civilization to organize itself. Of course, it must be a balance of both.

Finding yourself consists of peeling off years of social conditioning to find a self as it existed during childhood – unmasked. ”

But in today’s world, democracies have changed from being about compromise for the greater good, to forums where each side always wants their own way, no matter what. If you are part of a group that currently advocates this mindset as a working strategy, and you really believe in your side’s philosophy, consider this; most people don’t know why they believe what they believe. This is an important phenomenon to be aware of. It’s easy to see it in others, almost impossible in one’s self.
This is because most people’s core beliefs about money, work ethic and social status are learned through a process of mental osmosis. Most of us simply imitate and accept the attitude of those around us. It starts during childhood from contact with our parents, community, schools and places of worship. As well, the media we are exposed to as children heavily influences what we choose to follow as adults.

This often causes a psychological hot button to form in one’s brain that triggers a person of one mindset to resist another side’s point of view – often violently. If your parents are liberal thinking, it’s a good chance that will be your mindset. The same goes for all political persuasions and religions. Note the use of the word ‘mindset’ instead of ‘belief.’

The word ‘belief’ implies a person has put some thought into why they accept something as true. They’ve studied the historical reasons and weighed the arguments from all sides. ‘Mindset’ means the person has been conditioned to reflexively respond to something, despite rational reasons for them not to. These responses are usually quite short, without reference to history or data, and often come out more like emotional outbursts instead of an invitation to dialogue.

In the end, the cure for this tunnel vision about the righteousness of one particular community over another is to see ourselves as part of a long history, where customs and shared beliefs change over time and that we are just living somewhere on the continuum of one of those historical and cultural threads.

Appreciating that our way is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of a truth will set you free to explore ideas and other cultures. It will then allow you to make your own choices of what is good for society and what is conditioning by those with ulterior motives. And make no mistake, social conditioning is real and those who fund media, cultural and educational curriculums do have ulterior motives. Just follow the money.

Being considered crazy by those who
are still victims of cultural conditioning is a compliment.”

–Jason Hairston
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