My comment was that while I understood the context, I wish for the opposite in our current day/time/world. I feel that the increase in technology has led to too much specialization, and that the social sciences and arts are no longer valued. Sure, the Internet gives independent artists (like myself) a medium to express our talent and vision, but we’re up against a barrage of information that makes it difficult to be seen and heard over loud minorities and endless voices demanding to make their every opinion heard. The 21st century has whittled us away from creativity and more toward function, and I fear we’ve come to a point where there isn’t enough balance between “thinking” and “doing.”
My proof is the increased pressure for conformity to “political correctness.” The increasing sensitivity and petty arguments that you see, both online and in face-to-face interactions, are proof of this. People used to not get offended so easily, and I blame our lack of emotional resiliency on a lack of proper education. Simply stated, people are too stuck in their heads. They don’t realize that the world is bigger than them, and can’t fathom that other people see it differently than they do. They aren’t taught to think, to observe, and to consider viewpoints and theories different from their own, so the altruism vanishes as people are trapped in the narrow confines of their own mind. They don’t know how to change their perspective, so they can’t do it. And the circle goes unbroken.
I have a degree in psychology, and I miss the discussions we had in those college classes on varying theories of human thought and behavior. The classes in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and even English and history opened up the world for me, and so many others. For all of those who said that what I learned in college had little practical application, I would argue that I have used that degree every day of my life since obtaining it, and not just in work situations. It’s helped me in every area of life, and I use it every day because I think and interact with other people daily. Can I remove a burst appendix, or to fix the radiator in your car? No. But I can realize that you have a different perspective, and adjust myself to it so we can work cooperatively to find middle ground and solutions to the problems and issues of everyday life within my realm of expertise and experience. That’s more effective than circular arguments that lead to no resolution, strife, and ruined relationships.
And make no mistake: the pastor that told me that relationships are the most important thing in life was 100% correct. We interact with people every day, and the ability to do it well is critical to a happy, prosperous life.
I know there are plenty of people that say I’m wrong, but I maintain that “thinking” and “doing” go hand and hand. All of the skill in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you drive people away with a narrow minded, abrasive “my way or the highway” attitude – and no man is an island. There are always others in the world that can do what you do: some better, some worse, but personality is the difference between being able to fully utilize your abilities, and watching them waste away while others succeed. I believe we’ve all heard the Charles Swindoll commentary on attitude, because it’s absolutely correct: it can make or break not just you, but everything you’re a part of: your home; your work; your family; your relationships; your potential; your skills; your abilities; your mental and physical health; your reality.
The ability to relate to other people is never useless. It’s vital in our increasingly connected world. The Internet has literally connected the entire planet, and has extended the reach of the individual further than it ever has been before. We’d be wise to learn how to respect what makes others unique so we can use it as a uniting force instead of one more thing to drive us apart.
And for all of those who say, “Sherri, you’re wrong,” please, by all means, prove it. I’d love nothing more than to be wrong on this. I find it disturbing that people are so selfish, disrespectful, and rude. I would love to see courtesy and respect become the norm of society without a disaster forcing us to unite. Sadly, that’s often the only thing that inspires kindness and altruism these days.
That’s all today. Take care, stay warm, and have a great rest of the week.