Trending in Today’s News: I’m Right and They’re Not

Christmas trees remind me of how pendulums move. The shape of the tree is larger at the base. A pendulum starts with a wider side to side motion, too. Then the oscillations become smaller. There’s not a direct ascent but a spiral upward. The top lights up. It mirrors how we learn, personally and as a society. At first, we have wide swings in the way we think. In time, we reach a greater equilibrium and enlightenment.

 

Recently, a woman told me about a situation with two family members and herself. She described it and then read me a letter she wrote to one of them. She wanted my opinion about what she wrote.

The letter was perfect and logical.

However, she wasn’t really getting that the others had their viewpoints and emotional needs, too.

What she really wanted was someone to tell her she was right.

When I watch the news, I observe some people dug into their perspectives and completely ignoring the other side’s viewpoints. They present their logical views, make fun of the others through name calling and jokes. 

The issues aren’t really the issues. It’s grandstanding to show “I’m right, and they’re not.”

Learning is like a Christmas tree. We start at the bottom with one idea then make a pendulum swing to another side.

We spiral up the tree of awakening, and each time we don’t swing as far to the other side.

Once upon a century, Christians being thrown to the lions was great entertainment.

Additionally, the best gladiators, who were the rock stars of the day, were those who killed other gladiators. The crowds especially loved it if they showed no mercy.

It took several pendulum swings to persuade people that these weren’t good ideas. I mean, taking away these sports was like banishing football, ice cream and mom’s apple pie.

According to church historian Theodoret, Saint Telemachus was a monk who tried to stop a gladiatorial fight in a Roman amphitheater. He was stoned to death by the crowd.

Blood lust still exists. Parts of society still like cock fighting, for example, but that’s spiraling up from weekly, government-sanctioned, human slaughter for sport.

My apologies for being gruesome, but do you get the point?

No matter how bad things look now, they have a way of working themselves out over time.

We’re making progress.

It takes time to be able to step back and appreciate there are many perspectives… and needing to feel emotionally satisfied by being right is part of the pendulum swing of the process.

South Africa and Germany made progress on resolving their pasts.

We can, too. It starts by listening and hearing.

 

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