Thoughts on: Surviving perspectives… or
David & Goliath – An empowering story, though different than you might think…
This article is an attempt to introduce a new approach to Surviving Capitalism‘s structure – and maybe even on its philosophy. On some of the here mentioned statements and topics, we will follow up with separate “Thoughts on: …“-articles like: When did we stop asking questions and replaced them with prejudice AND why?... Education – bringing up children to stay inquisitive and interested… Is it “How to survive capitalism” or “How capitalism can survive?” – Or maybe both? Why not… How to change your life and Why. – A series of thoughts on being creative… What the hell is wrong with judging? – The difference between common sense and prejudice... Why “offending people” might be a good thing. – Again, some thoughts on common sense… etc. – Some of them as a series of “David & Goliath” association triggered articles. – Hell, we might even start to produce some fun-to-watch animated explaining-videos on our topics.
So – Stay tuned.
To survive capitalism we need a set of quite some skills. To survive at all, nature already has provided us with loads of skills; most of them we are not even aware of, many of them become a down weight if we are not aware of the constant need of change and flexibility.
Who is flexible and agile not necessarily in body, but in mind, in general, has the highest chances to survive to survive change, that is. And change is what life is all about, right? We even see this in biology: the most specialized organism often is the least adaptable. Now, of course, this even is true for our self-awareness. ..
“Ah!”, you might think, “I know where this is going!”, referring to David & Goliath the most common thought that comes to mind is the classical underdog allegory; a common shorthand for an unlikely victory. And you might even resonate with this thought. You might see yourself as an underdog or at least have someone else in mind who is one. And you might find, that this story is perfect as a lesson about self-belief and maybe even the power of taking action. And it is…
But – as always – there is so much more to this.
Let’s take a different approach. Let us make this a practicing piece of flexible thinking. .. You see, flexible thinking and self-awareness are mostly about the kind of questions we ask. We at Surviving Capitalism believe, some of the most powerful questions in life start with:
“Why’s that?”, you ask? Well, this is a very good question. And there is not one, but many answers; as it might be true for many questions. Some answers come from common sense, some from individual or group beliefs or experience, some are crazy, funny, sad… – None of them has the sole claim on being true.
“Why bother then?” you ask? Ah! you’re learning; another why-question. Good! Did you know, there was a time you already knew this method? You simply stopped using it for a variety of reasons.
Some of you know, parents will for sure, what I’m telling you now; and who knows this might giggle or role with their eyes, depending on how well equipped they are for these situations:
There is a certain phase during every human being’s growing up.
The WHY?! -phase.
And this is true for any child around the world, no matter the culture; because it is an instinct.
Playing, asking questions, the instinct to explore and discover ..and did I mention: playing?
All these instincts help us to make sense of the world’s structures around us and with it to understand the consequences. Action and reaction.
And we, at least subconsciously, come to obey these structures as rules, instead of understanding them as tools.
What if there are no rules? – at all
The kind of questions we ask determines our perspective and asks for the approach where something is coming from (at us). Any question, in general, sets us in relation to the questioned point. The same goes for the answers we get.
Sometimes we don’t like the answers; which all too often leads us to dismiss them or even the whole topic or the questioned persons view. This is because it doesn’t resonate with our point of view, with our structure that we learned is save to survive in.. We get uncomfortable because leaving this structure, even just for a split second, in ancient times might have been a question of life and death.
Are you prepared to be playful again? Taking risks is what helps us evolve.
So, here’s what I want you to practice – and it has a good chance, that the lately growing stronger and louder social pain of different beliefs and opinions that we experience even with friends and family, can heal and will be replaced by interesting and even joyful conversations. –
Instead of dismissing/fighting an answer/opinion, replace now your reacting with an action: ASK YOURSELF: “Why?” Why don’t I approve? Why is it important to me, that this point of view is different from mine? Why would it affect me? etc.. THEN, instead of dismissing the answers, further ask WHY?
Be brave. Try to understand yourself and others, their motives, and situations. And if you cannot understand: just accept it for a start. – It might broaden your horizon.
This is NOT a call for fight-less obedience!
Au contraire mes amis! This is a call for sharpening your strongest weapon, your mind! – And to become highly skilled in using it.
Asking the right question – at the right time and place – has the power to open minds and dismantle powerful structures.
And this is where I come back to David & Goliath.
Do you really think Goliath stood any chance against David?
Let me rephrase: Why was this fight uneven from the beginning?
Do you realize how the first question leads to a potential quick end? –> answering options: YES or NO – a possible reaction to the answer: “I’m offended!”… No, really! Why? Because the answer is highly vulnerable to the interpretation of its motivation.
The rephrased question opens up for real conversation.
Now, keep in mind, if you happen to ask a Yes or No-question, be prepared to end it with “… and why?“, meaning: Be inquisitive instead of relying on your interpretation skills, which have a high potential of misunderstanding and more importantly a lack of precision. The same goes for a True or False-statement: First oppose it with a question – “Why?“, rather than immediately throwing your opinion against it; And ask your conversation partner to do the same.
Why would you want a conversation to be a fight, rather than having the chance to nurture understanding? The true fight maybe can be held in our own minds. Two opposing sides: Experience, sending in a well-grown structure of beliefs vs. the playful and agile youngster willing to take a risk.
Now further: Why should there be a fight at all? Maybe a strong round of sparring would do the trick. Both sides are useful; each can grow and develop being challenged by the other. – There might even be a common ground.
This video shows one very interesting sight of how we can look differently on common knowledge:
It’s a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for an unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?