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If we wish to change the person we find ourselves to be, we must change our thinking.
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May 21st, 2018
I hated the play.
That’s easy as hell to do. Take a glance at the painting, watch the movie, hear the song, wait for a feeling to pop up, and oh hey THAT’S convincing.
Feelings convince us of everything. If you are ‘convinced’ it does not mean that someone has defeated some part of your holistic rational system and now you are simply adding to it or repairing an over-looked segment.
No, that’s the idealized version of what’s going on. In reality when we’ve been convinced, we just feel different about the subject. Very few of us are practiced enough in the art of breaking it down to be convinced by rational means.
Breaking it down requires attention, awareness, time and effort. It is the opposite of the snap judgment we usually default to. And in the process of breaking it down the emotion provoked by the subject becomes emotion(s). Now there is a story, many stories to explain how it works, how it was put together and why.
Breaking it down breeds an appreciation. The extreme emotions that we usually categorize things with: I love it! I hate it! disappear. because with understanding comes knowledge of both the shortcomings and innovative successes of any given subject. Feelings about the subject become nuanced, requiring explanation, requiring the story of understanding.
But remember, whatever piece that you uncovered while breaking it down that convinced you, probably isn’t going to be the convincing piece for someone else. And taking that ‘fact’ you found while breaking it and throwing it in someone’s face is going to do absolutely nothing. This is why people are unconvinced in the face of facts, and why a single photo of a burning girl can end a war. They need a story to feel for. A story for their heart to chew on. When the heart has had it’s fill, the mind will spout the new gospel as though it was derived like some Euclid proof.
Stories are important, they are emotionally efficient. They cut out all the time people don’t have, and get the message across convincingly.
But breaking it down is the whole enchilada. It spawns many specific and detailed stories. One of which might be convincing.
You might have hated the play.
But when the assistant stage manager writes the book about what was happening backstage during the performance, and it get’s picked up by Hollywood, and the movie comes out and you see not just the play you hated, but everything that was happening behind the scenes. (hmm, kinda like Birdman)
When the whole experience is broken down.
You just might love it.
At the very least, you’ll understand
a little more.
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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.