If you’ve been following my blogs, you know the unfolding of my thinking and writing toward sanity and the bigger picture. And you know that I’m looking for like-minded people to partner in a next step that’s coming to me… SANE (Society for Aliens oN Earth).
If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)
You can email me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com
My new website (placeholder for now) is – www.in-SANE.net
Below is a recent essay I’ve written about the personal complexity we must overcome in order to make sane decisions during these times.
LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE
Most people, the great majority are intrinsically good. For the most part, our hearts are in the right place. But we share one problem – we are all busy looking out for number one.
But what is number one? It’s not just the physical survival of our bodies, although it usually starts with that. It is our identity.
Following the evolutionary mandate to survive, we defend not only our physical body, but also every aspect of our identity as if it is life itself. And we all have multiple aspects to our identity. They start with the survival, health and well-being of our bodies and the bodies of those close to us – our spouses, our children, our parents, even our friends, but they don’t end there – not nearly. First of all, there is the idea of well-being for all of them. And there is a lot to be unpacked with that idea: happiness, comfort, satisfaction, accomplishment and a feeling of worldly success just make up the short list. The long list would fill the page.
Our identity also includes the totality of the beliefs and emotions that make up our personality, and then, there are the organizations that we belong to and the roles we play in them. Then, for some there are religious beliefs and the place to go to worship; there is citizenship in a nation, i.e., a national identity, or a quasi-racial identity like Jewish or Negro, or membership in a team – bowling or baseball. And then, there are the causes, pro and con that we are identified with: women’s rights, vaccination, climate change – or simply the right to choose.
All of these are identities. In fact, just life itself, if it is an idea, something to hold onto, can be an identity.
So, the evolutionary problem is defending our identity as if it is our life. But there is another problem, as well, a problem some of these identities share, especially the cognitive emotional ones: they are partial – one-sided. They don’t take into account the big picture. What about other people, other belief systems, other countries, other races, other sports and other teams? What about the causes we are for or against, and most of all, the other sides of the causes?
What about the big picture? Is no one going to take that into account? Is no one going to be open to it? Is no one going to make openness a part of their identity?