From the time we were born, the way we thought and the views we eventually held were drilled into us by family and friends in our community. We were not taught the other side of the story. We learned our truths by listening to the adults who cared for us. Parental truths were the only truths. Their views about all aspects of life became our view until we were mature enough to form our own ideas. The ideas were often not our own.
Some people have a strong need to belong with a need for approval that can be stronger than the desire to think independently. Our personal ideas are pushed aside. Conforming to the people around you, reinforced by the news we read or the media we continually watched until it eventually gets imprinted on our brain as THE truth. The ONLY truth. It becomes safer to agree with those we are bonded to than to independently say, “But I read . . . and it makes sense that . . .” because no one would have listened or thought our idea to be credible.
Is one truth right and the other wrong? Not necessarily, because many views about life are hypothetical, where reality only lives inside our mind. Our views are what we hope to be true. It gives us comfort. For example, is there such a place as heaven? How do you know one way or the other? You read about it in a book called the Bible, written by man? You have been told it is God’s word? Who says so? Man says it is God’s word. You believe it because you want to believe it, although there is no proof. You can believe it is true but that does not make it true. Other people who do not believe in God defend their right to believe something different. They have the right to their belief. If it goes against what some people think, it brings hostility, name calling, negative criticism and possibly the loss of family. Nothing is accomplished. No one has changed their mind.
Convincing someone to listen when they don’t want to hear your opinion can cause permanent rifts in your relationship. Inability to listen can keep you from developing your personality and stop you from openly exploring new ideas. What you think is only important to you and people who agree with you. It does not make you right nor give you right to impose what you believe on others.
What is right for one person might not be right for another. Problems emerge when parents or leaders of a community or country try to force people to accept only one truth and punish those who don’t adhere to that truth. Taking away someone’s individuality, or the freedom to decide what is right for them causes resentment and sometimes violence.
Raised with this attitude we often don’t learn there are two sides to every story. When we become convinced there is only one truth we don’t even want to learn there could be another possibility, because we think it couldn’t be true, so why hear it? If we begin to question what we believe to be true, we might have to ask questions from the people around us. It’s easier to go with the flow than rock the boat. There is often little respect or tolerance for people who don’t think the way we do, no matter whose “side” you are on.
This holds true for any idea that can be highly charged at the opposite ends of belief. When you think you are right; in fact, you know you are right, it leaves little room in your mind for discussion. You lose friends and alienate family members. How could they not believe everything you told them? How could you possibly sit at the same table and have a meal together if you both don’t believe the same thing?
Religion, politics, racial superiority or any controversial subject; no matter what we believe to be true, if confronted, we dig our heels in to uphold our truths, even at the risk of impacting our lives by losing people we love. But it’s their own fault, right? They could have listened to us and learned, we think, as we tell them how wrong they are.
If the media we watch or read only reinforced one side of the story over and over, not putting forth a balanced view, it becomes the only truth in our mind, whether it is true or not. Nothing else is worth hearing because we assume it is all lies. But if we don’t compare all sides of a story how can we discern the truth? Yet the person giving the other side is mocked and called names. Did they deserved that?
The people who originally left England, who later came by boat from Holland, left because of religious persecution. If you did not believe the truth of the Church of England you would be persecuted and likely killed. People believed out of fear and because they were avowed nothing else – until Martin Luther. People wanted the freedom to believe and practice what they chose to think of as truth, not be told what to believe or be burned at the stake as a heretic.
The Church of England used religion as a means of controlling the masses. It is disheartening to see America also use religion as a means of control, even to the point of some politicians wanting to instill biblical law over constitutional law. Do they actually know what they are proposing? Doubtful, but it sounds good to those who believe they follow God’s law. Imposing that on people who are not Christians is just as bad as what the leaders in England did trying to force everyone to follow the Church of England. It was horrible to hear a Republican Congressman say, during the Christmas season 2017, that he would gladly execute a homosexual. That really Christian, isn’t it?
Mistakes from the past have not been learned. Trying to force Christianity on the people by wanting to teach biblical ideas in schools regardless if the children come from homes who are Christian, is wrong. Too many Christians believe that freedom of religion only pertains to Christianity. All Christians do not follow the same ideals. All other religions are not taught, yet all children are taught Christian ideas that is only right for Christians? Forcing it onto all children for their own good? The push for Christianity through the government means it is not a government “For the People”. Only a segment of society is Christian and only a percentage of them do more than just say they believe in God but practice nothing. They say they believe because they never searched for any truth. Most Christians couldn’t name the ten commandments.
People are taught and now think all Muslims are terrorists and many citizens have been harassed. Now people believe all Hispanics are lowlifes and criminals – because that is what our government says over and over. Too many people have lost the ability to express critical thinking and only repeat what they are told. Christians have terrorized and killed many but no one has implied all Christians are terrorists. When the media tells only one side of the story people think it is the whole truth. They buy the propaganda. People get hurt. Hate crimes increase – even by those who profess to be Christian.
There have always been Democrats and Republicans. People have always disagreed and believed only the party they are registered with can take care of them. They vote against their own well being just because the politician is with their party. America is in deep trouble because of they kind of thinking. Taking an honest look at the other side instead of instantly believing only politicians of their party means they are not being loyal. Their own media presents only their side of the truth, which is usually not the whole truth.
People won’t listen to anything except what sings to their own choir. Families are split. Friendships have been lost because emotionally, people are too angry over each other’s ignorance at not understanding the issues. Never in the history of America has there been as much violent disunity as in this Age of Trump.
People are taught and have been taught for hundreds of years that black people are inferior. “White People” deserve more, based only on skin color. White people are smarter. They deserve a better education, the best jobs and they place higher on the social ladder, as if they are special people.
“Black People,” they are taught, are prone to violence, commit more crimes, do more drugs and sell more drugs. All of this has been proven false. White people are equally at fault for all crimes, yet more black people are sentenced when they are innocent. Many white people refuse to believe that and think black people are only in prison because they are guilty and only the guilty get sentenced – right? They refuse to believe racism against people of color exists or that black people are unfairly targeted.
Collectively, in families, neighborhoods and churches, people are taught to believe the same thing. Religion and politics are mashed together. Some preachers endorse politicians when they should be impartial. What your preacher says is swallowed, hook, line and sinker. Anyone who doesn’t toe the line is ostracized.
Parents pass this way of thinking down to their children and instill it in them. Otherwise, it is inconceivable that white youth growing up today would embrace hurting black people for no other reason than the color of their skin. Young People join the KKK yet probably don’t understand it’s origins. Shame on the parents who teach this to their children. This way of thinking doesn’t make them superior, it makes them ignorant.
What is true is that white people have had the power and money to suppress anyone they wanted to, much the same way the rich feel they have the right to suppress anyone who doesn’t have the amount of money they have. Money is more important than humanity.
This power created an unequal social structure, which created an uneven educational system, which led to a prejudiced hiring market, which led to blacks having less money to purchase homes, and intentionally kept out of desirable housing markets that didn’t want black people living side by side with so-called superior whites.
Police raided black communities and charged many with crimes they didn’t commit; suppressed evidence and filled the prisons, which made stock holders of prison corporations very rich. Making money off the backs of black people had always been acceptable. Who was going to stop it? Elect more black politicians . . . as white people do everything they can to stop it. They are afraid of losing their white privilege that they don’t deserve to have.
Warping people’s minds into believing only one side of the truth is the whole truth has affected the pro choice/ no abortions allowed sensibility. It will never be solved or agreed upon. Forcing people to adhere to one side has never worked. Each side is absolutely right in their thinking. To sway an entire community means alternative reasons are never discussed. The entire country will never be swayed or made to obey. People will always find ways to have an abortion of needed, even if it kills them.
Politics and religion fight on their own side of the isle when it comes to LGBGT issues like there is only one right answer and everyone else is wrong. The emotion is high, so angry, that people are driven to commit hate crimes.
The truth is out there, but if you already believe you know the truth and believe certain people don’t deserve humanity or consideration, then society will continue on the path it is going – its own destruction. It will become too late to change.
We all need to take a step back and realize we don’t have all the right answers. We need to question WHY we believe as we do? Who taught us what we believe to be right or wrong? Did we ever question it? Did we try to find the other side of the story?