The alternative title of this episode might be, “My feelings make it true.”
In today’s Take Ten With Will Luden, we go over why unless we–you and I–get over this feelings based approach to everything important in our lives, we will never fix the ruinous political divide in America. And fixing this is a part of our overall Revolution2.0™ goal of creating better lives for ourselves, our communities and for America.
N.B. This is a complete blog, also acting as a signpost, pointing you to this episode on both the new Revolution 2.0™ YouTube channel, and where you enjoy your podcasts, e.g., Apple, Google and Spotify.
Our feelings are a part of us that we feel cannot be challenged. “It feels cold outside,” and “This is how you make me feel,” are statements of absolute truth that we want others to respect, not challenge as either false or ill conceived. When our feelings are challenged or denied, we tend to double down in our own defense, and become further wedded to those feelings while rejecting both the feelings and reasoning of those contesting our feelings. And then rejecting them as well. That is why feelings based political thinking will forever preserve and deepen the disastrous divide here in our America. We need the opposite. Facts and logic can and often should be challenged, tested and revised. Divides narrow and can disappear this way.
Both opinion- and agenda-driven politics are in exactly the same league as feelings-based politics. Only politics–any important thought for that matter–based on facts and logic is separate and better. Far better. That does not mean that you have to be a greasy grinder about your thinking. Just rational, thoughtful and open to better facts and logic. BTW, “greasy grinder” is a term that I heard in my freshman slide rule class. My teacher described himself as dedicated to his craft; immersed in his professions–a greasy grinder.
Challenge our feelings, and things can easily fall apart. Challenge facts and logic, and things might get better. When our politics are feelings based, nothing will get better, and can only get worse. Challenge facts and logic, and things might very well get better.
One of the core issues we deal with in everything from politics to finances to law enforcement is the substitution of feelings and opinion for facts and logic. This is the lazy approach, requiring little or no research, and no logic. Just state your position, and hold forth. And you never have to say things like, “You were right. I have changed my mind.” This lazy approach delivers terrible results.
Describing the feelings based approach reminds me of the times, perhaps the many times, in high school when I had not done my homework, and still wanted to be given credit for participating in class. I did not know what I was talking about because I had not done the reading or the work, but I leapt in anyway. Full of passion–and feelings. But no facts. I was lazy–and loud. The students who had done the work knew I was full of it. The ones who had not might very well have thought I was onto something. Sound familiar?
If we want better results, we need to be responsible citizens and careful voters. It is on us, not them. It is never on “them.” It is not us v. them, and it is not them v them. It’s us. I am recruiting you into the ranks of citizens and voters who are careful to apply facts and logic before forming opinions, and, further, to be open to changing those opinions when new information is available. That’s how we–we–drive the change we need.Using feelings and opinions to choose preferences like your favorite color, sports teams, ice cream flavor and level of spice on food is entirely legitimate. And fun. Anywhere else, it is lazy, wrong and dangerous.
In areas ruled by facts, e.g., politics, finance, as in the vast majority of life, your opinions are not facts.
And this feelings and opinion as opposed to facts and logic approach to the world goes a long way toward explaining why almost everything is politicized. We start with our feelings, which lead directly to the selection of specific political affiliations. Those feelings driven politics now lead us to seeing everything through the eyes of our feelings, e.g., the Supreme Court, law enforcement, welfare, abortion–everything. We don’t have to think anything though, and we certainly don’t have to go through the vital and uncomfortable process of challenging our own thinking. We did not have any to begin with–just our feelings.
Unless we–you and I–get over this feeling based approach to everything important in our lives, we will never fix the ruinous political divide in America.
We all have the personal responsibility to use well intentioned reasoning to drive our thinking, either in our personal lives or in meeting our responsibilities to others. Speaking of personal responsibility, this principle does not stand alone; the two main and interdependent principles at Revolution 2.0 are:
1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. You can start by subscribing to these episodes, and encouraging others to subscribe with you.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:1.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
This is Will Luden. We’ll talk again soon.