Thursday, February 13, 2014

Weak Sauce

Growing up I was sheltered from many things mainly from the fear that I would be influenced by evil in some form: ideas, company, spirits etc. While I was taught to be logical there was also a very strong counterbalance of "accept this because it's the truth and we don't question it" when it came to religion and a social / political viewpoint. As an adult who has traversed three decades of life, I have seen that much of what I was taught doesn't work in real life in every circumstance. That isn't to say that anarchy is a good concept - even the universe follows some stringent rules; however, there is a lot that falls into the margins of grey area. The conclusion I have come to is that if your beliefs can't stand up to some scrutiny and questioning, then they aren't worth holding onto to begin with.

The other night when I was in Walmart buying my sleeping bag I happened to walk by the book aisle on my way back from the restroom (side note: the restrooms in the back of most Walmarts are less busy and are almost always cleaner). Since I've been trying to read more as of late, I decided to pick up some new reading material. A small paperback novel caught my attention (although I'm expecting it to be less than engaging but it was only $5) and a biography about Malcolm X. Black History Month didn't cross my mind as a motivation to buy the bio but the fact that what little I knew about Malcolm X from my schooling was vague and leaning towards negative compelled me to pick it up. Considering my fairly one sided approach to the world as a child, it seemed only fair to give this man who was obviously of major influence some consideration. In the first 35 pages of the A Life of Reinvention: Malcolm X, I've already learned much and have received a healthy dose of perspective and respect for the man he was.

It never hurts to hear out an idea, a person, or a belief. Only the fearful and narrow minded (usually you can add bigoted) resist learning about the other side because they are unwilling to face change. The process of metamorphosis is uncomfortable and a struggle but anyone who is successful and makes an impact in the world for good has embraced it. If your worldview can't be questioned you have no business pushing it on others or probably believing it yourself for that matter. Questioning ideas is like eating hot wings - it burns on the way in and on the way out - it's daring but you're left with nutrition and know you're alive.

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