Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Do You Think You Want?

"What most human beings really want to attain is not knowledge, but certainty. Gaining real knowledge requires taking risks and keeping the mind open-but most people prefer to be reassured rather than to learn the complex and often unsettling truth about anything."
(extracted from "Analytic Writing - Issue Topics" for the GRE test.)

What a wonderful glimpse into the human psyche. I see this truth repeatedly when having political conversations with my friends that haven't gotten it yet. I think we all want the same thing; that is, the best life on this Earth possible, for ourselves and others.

I think that much of the conflict comes from some of the people really truly Hoping for these changes for the better, and some actually doing the hard work to study history, economics, government, and human nature, then laying out the real way to accomplish that goal despite the fact that it is hard. Easy is easier and feels better but to get the truly good stuff, one must put in the hard work. Ask any successful person.

Do a self-check if you dare. Honestly answer the question, "One: Do I want to feel safe and secure and feel good that we are doing the right thing, or Two: am I willing to spend the time to truly learn the facts and make the hard choices that will be required to effect beneficial change?" Most people answer "both" but in reality many people's actions and their display of knowledge indicate that only the first part applies. They are still wonderful people who want what is best, but they are less likely to actually do what needs to be done to get it done right.

Be wonderful. I'll still love you.

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