Have you ever listened to someone and tuned them out as soon as you heard something you didn’t agree with? Have you ever gotten angry because someone said something that turned you off? Have you ever argued with someone because you knew they were wrong while you were entirely right?
Well my dear friend, it’s safe to say that you’re polarized!
(or at least were because everyone changes from day to day…hopefully that is)
Now don’t get me wrong because I used to be in the same boat, and I encourage you to read this post in its entirety before writing it off entirely if you happen to disagree with me because it’s totally cool if you don’t agree with me. All I ask is that you remain open to what I have to say. You can always comment, you know…
So what does it mean to be polarized? How does it affect the manner in which you perceive your environment? Or more importantly, how does being polarized influence your ability to connect with your environment and that which fills your environment?
Well according to a quick Google search, the physical (related to physics) definition can be summed up in this manner:
- [to] restrict…vibrations…wholly or partially to one direction.
The key word was RESTRICT, but let’s provide another definition for the sole purpose of making things clearer for those who didn’t resonate with the first definition:
- [to] divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.
That one should be a little clearer…
Still not with me?
Alright then, look at this image and monitor your thoughts/physical reactions.
Some of you more than likely (if you’re from the US) will have a reaction such as a scoff, curling of the mouth, cursing, blowing air through your nose, rolling your eyes, or something more subtle like thinking “those guys are stupid, they’re causing all of our problems, or why can’t people just get with the program and realize those guys are ruining our country?”
Notice how I didn’t specify which guys? Well that’s because most of you will more than likely identify with one party or the other, and that simply means you’re polarized. Don’t believe me? Try this collection of images and see how you do…
Once again, some may have identified with a particular symbol. Or some of you may not have even identified with one at all! Some of you may have reacted adversely to certain symbols by relating them to something destructive, dark, or questionable at best.
But have you ever spent time to think about why you may think that in the first place? Have you spent time questioning the validity of whatever thoughts you may have inadvertently associated with any of the symbols in question?
You see, polarity to the extreme produces something called fundamentalism which seeks to oppose all that seemingly opposes it.
I.e. a fundamentalist Christian will invoke thoughts that charge a symbol as being heretical, while simultaneously evoking a behavioral response of clear disapproval to the symbol that represents anything besides a cross. Or in the most extreme cases a fundamentalist Christian will become violent in the face of that which they charge “against” their own core beliefs of how the universe operates.
The same goes for any human being who fundamentally identifies with specific patterns of thinking which in turn produce a certain expectant manner in which to behave and live. But then again, not all Muslims resemble ISIL and not all Christians resemble the KKK.
(look em up if you’re curious or don’t know anything about them)
In fact, an Atheist can be just as fundamentalist (polarized) as a theistic fundamentalist since they simply argue the exact opposite of what their religious brethren have worked to establish for thousands of years – the existence of divinity that is. So where’s the silver lining?
Did you notice I used the term BRETHREN?
It honestly doesn’t matter what your beliefs are when you spend more time developing your mind, body, and spirit for personal growth and expansion in a manner that does not compromise another’s ability to enjoy the life that was given to them. But it does matter when your actions, regardless of the beliefs that enforce them, cause another harm.
So why did I use the term BRETHREN?
Because we’re all made of the SAME atoms, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and so on! Because we SHARE the same atmosphere! Because we SHARE the same land! Because we SHARE the same water!
So on, and so forth…
But they’re different than me! But they look different than me! But they act differently than me! But they think differently than me!
You hit the nail on the head with that last sentence pointing out the fact others think differently than you! Why? Because they were raised in a different manner than you, were programmed differently than you, and thus were shaped and molded by an environment that does not reflect your values – but it most certainly does reflect their values…
So the body and mind are simple enough for anyone to relate in simplistic terms, but spirit is something else altogether because everyone has a different method of defining it!
Well the body is related to the food one uses to nourish their hunger, the drink one uses to quench their thirst, the amount of exercise, rest, as well as the clothes one wears for all to see.
The mind is related to anything within or without that influences thought patterns, and thus alters how we perceive the universe at large in relation to us and beyond.
Spirit on the other hand denotes one’s relation to the universe at large, and we’ve already hammered out the fact that practically everyone has a different manner in which they connect with their surroundings. Even those who claim to be cuts from the same cloth will connect with that cloth in different manners because they don’t share the same mind or body.
I.e. everyone experiences life similarly, but differently. This in turn means we often become polarized in our views because we feel as though everyone sees the world in the way we do. But here’s the catch, not everyone’s version of GOD is the same. Not everyone’s preferred political party is shared by others. Not everyone wears the same deodorant…
But once again, we still share the same space and can offer each other that which we would be unable to produce on our own because no one is an island on to themselves.
So let’s focus on depolarizing ourselves in order to break through barriers that restrict our ability to connect with each other.
After all, we’re one big family.
Featured Image: Pinterest