Sunday, June 01, 2014
Pause and Engage
I have been thinking a lot about how we get past moral log jams. Jonathan Haidt has had a big impact on my thinking. His book 'The Righteous Mind' looks at the question of why good people are divided by religion and politics. The irony is that while these are the subjects that should be avoided in polite conversation, they are fundamental to people's happiness. We get stuck. Part of this I think is that we don't actually really listen. Our aim is often to influence other people. The other part is something I have struggled with and blame on my Artist's temperament - A desire for the output to 'reflect my voice'. We want to feel like society or events are how we would do things if we were the only one in control. The truth is that we don't live in the town we were born, do what our parents did, marry a girl from the neighbourhood and worship the Gods of our ancestors any more. This means that we make lots of choices and those around us are unlikely to share our voice. More pragmatism is required. I don't claim to have an answer to how we get past the log jam. I don't think not talking about the key issues is the answer. I don't think just waiting to tell our view is the answer (pause and engage).