“Have You Dug Wall Drug?”

Daily Meditation #112–6/14/2022

How it feels trying to scroll through social media with various opinions, tastes, views, & beliefs

A bumper sticker.
A band shirt.
A FaceBook banner or profile border.

Your identity is none of these.

You aren’t a walking billboard or advertisement…so why are you acting like one?

There are two things we’ve become too accustomed to:

1. Avoiding or ignoring those who are of different opinions (discriminatingly segregating ourselves from them).

2. Signaling our beliefs, opinions, or views.

The second of these serves to magnetize others to us who match our tastes.

A metal band shirt (Lamb of God or Meshuggah, perhaps) to signal “Hey! Metalheads!”
A rainbow flag profile picture border to signal you are maybe an ally.
A red, “FIX AMERICA” bumper sticker to signal you vote Republican.

However, interestingly, these signals end up causing number one to happen…to push the opposite types away.

With the metal band shirt, those who are not fans may have misgivings or misperceptions about you or believe you’re Satanic.
Those who don’t agree with your views on the pride topic may opt to unfriend you.
In regards to the bumper sticker, perhaps someone misperceives you to be an extremist.

In all cases, the defiant parts of us probably is screaming or laughing “GOOD! I don’t need their bullshit in my life — they’re on the wrong side of things, anyway!”

This is your emotional side taking hold.
As one attempting to stay on the narrow path of Eudaimonia and Stoicism in the exceptionally trying modern era, it’s so damn hard to not want to dig your heels into your beliefs.

To stick your fingers in your ears, scream “LALALALALA!” and to run off to an echo chamber of similar thoughts and opinions.

But, ours is the long, dark, cold path in Eudaimonia.

Much like the lily flower rises out of the slimy mud, through the filthy water, and eventually blossoms on top of the pond, so must we rise above the silly (and arguably absurd) notions of identity.

As we have discussed, you are legion — a collection of homunculi within you push you to be one thing or another.

Your identity are none of these things, but they are small, scintillating pieces of the complex constellation that is you.

We should actively seek different views and opinions.
Humans are truly fascinating. They have untold stories and histories clamoring to escape their minds.
To explain why they love (or loath) metal.
To state why they support (or are ambivalent to) pride.
To justify why they vote for Republicans (or simply don’t vote for the other side).

When confronted with someone who you are perceiving to be of different views than you, fight the urge to run away or to come to verbal blows.

Take your views and beliefs, gently and neatly fold them. Then place them lovingly into a box, telling them “I am not doubting in you or abandoning you or changing my mind about you.”
Finally, carry that box into the attic of your mind and place it there for now.

Now?

Talk to the person.

Open your mind not to be changed by them but to understand them…
All while closing your mouth from seeking to change them.

After all — we cannot change others and we cannot change the world.
We can only change ourselves and how we perceive the world.

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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