Welcome to Do The Hard Thing Episode 8. I am Jason Archer… creator, freedom seeker and leader of self | full time student and part time teacher of self mastery, and today’s theme is “The Philosophy Of Talking Politics, Religion, And Her”.
So, turn up the volume, put down the distractions and let’s kick this off…
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Have you ever started down a path that you felt held a great deal of meaning for you, and then for whatever reason you could not move toward the outcome you wanted to create. Whether it was a Mental, Physical, or Spiritual target you sought, it didn’t matter… there was some part of you who refused to move. This podcast is born out of that specific idea. Do The Hard Thing is an exploration in human movement.
When I was kid growing up, I was keen to notice how it seemed most of the adults around me never talked about anything meaningful. Especially in mixed company. The fact that the “grown ups who had everything figured out” were scared to be their authentic selves around anyone who may not appreciate their way of thinking was so thick in the air you could feel the tension.
I remember realizing this probably around age 10 or 12 or so… and, for me this was an earth shattering realization. Prior to that I had this idea in my head that the grown ups had it all figured out. Little did I know that they were just winging their way through life…
Looking back on that now with more thoughtful eyes, I can see how much each adult in my life was doing the best they could with the tools available to them.
That is true for all of us, of course. We do our best with what is presented to us… but at some point, that isn’t enough we have to move into new thought or we stagnate and get stuck in our lives.
As I went into my teens noticing this adult predicament of living in small talk and bullshit, I decided to become the “truth teller” I thought people were suppose to be… mainly because I had been told that lying was not acceptable, yet that rule didn’t seem to apply to the adults. Especially the ones who were there to tell me how to live.
My version of being the truth teller was founded in rebellion as a type of fuck you to the hypocrisy I saw. The weakness in the lies had me wanting to Do The Hard Thing and call it out.
Needless to say, I was not always popular when I opened my mouth. I knew the truth, at least as I saw it, behind our family’s closed doors, and I wasn’t afraid to let it fly out of my mouth anytime the grown ups decided a white lie was in order. Usually to purposely embarrass anyone within earshot.
I felt justified doing this a kid because of the level of integrity I was suppose to live under was somehow not applicable to those telling me to live that way. And, as a smart individual, reconciling the disparity was more important than demonstrating any tact.
I would later learn that having some bit of knowledge meant there was a time and place share and a time and place to remain quiet. I would develop a more constructive way of being and deliver my message in a more palatable way, but my philosophy around speaking my mind would not change.
To this day, I am sensitive to hypocrisy on any level. And, there is much to wade through in the modern world… So much so it becomes very difficult at times to discuss the dreaded three no-no’s every conversationalist has been cautioned against bringing up: Politics, Religion, and Relationships.
I’m not 100% sure when I first heard this… however, I do have either a vague memory or a memory I made up about hearing some old codgers making a joke about things one doesn’t discuss in public during a visit to a local country store with my grandfather.
That’s neither here nor there… the fact is, this was and is part of the popular zeitgeist and I’m sure you’ve no doubt heard reference to the taboo of talking about these things in person with those you may come in contact with.
This seems to be a rather regressive and repressive way to go through life… Bottling up how you truly feel is not a good thing. Maybe there is something to that, being that the US has some of the highest use of anti-depressants in the world.
Yet thankfully, those who aren’t prescribed anti-depressants at least have an outlet in Facebook. Apparently the no-no rule doesn’t apply there… Probably because the threat of physical violence doesn’t exist in that arena.
To my mind, talking about all these topics is a good thing. It needs to be done early and often. Ideas are meant to be discussed. Doing so takes us beneath the surface of normal human interaction and gives us insight to the way a person genuinely operates. Knowing the tenor of these ideas in the public sphere is quite possibly the most important thing to which one can be attuned.
I realize that is a big statement to make, however what I want to have you consider is that each of these ideas has a direct impact on you personally whether you participate in the discussion or not. Because underneath the simplicity of those three words, lies a whole host of philosophy… the basic operating system that a person has decided to live by.
Philosophy is the root. The philosophy underneath these 3 topics: Politics, Religion, and Relationships will guide each interaction we have with others. Given that’s the case, wouldn’t it be healthier and create more community and understanding if we had the balls to go deeper and stay there long enough to impart some understanding even when it doesn’t feel good?
Yes! Of course it would…
Certainly, you will be impacted by how others view their roles and responsibilities in a relationship… be it familial, friendly, or fraternal as in the case of a business or an organization. As a simple example around relationships you can think of growing up with parents who believe it’s their job to raise and release a responsible child, who is capable of making his own decisions, into the wild of the world as being a much different thing than parents who feel they must hover over their child and force a helmet on him as he walks the sidewalk and is never allowed to fall or fail.
One of those situations creates a greater opportunity to yield an adult who is responsible and capable. You will be impacted personally either way. Which type of person do you want to deal with? The one who leaves a note when he scratches your car in a parking lot with his contact info, or the one who doesn’t because not being responsible for himself is his M.O. Hell that guy probably blames you because in his eyes you parked to close to the edge of your parking spot.
The person who thinks that way has an excuse for everything.
Would you want to have that person as a business partner or employee? Could you trust him to leave the business savings in the account when you weren’t looking?
It would be hard to.
A local business man here in AZ I know, who participates in leadership development will not hire any individual who has not completed a 10k leadership experience. This is the standard he has set for having people in his enterprise who are both aware of how they show up, and responsible for their actions. The experience they go through creates a philosophical base for human interaction.
Having a team with a base exposure to a common philosophy that teaches them to give and receive honest feedback allows the business to operate in a space where individuals can be more open and honest when they face tough choices, and the responsibility of accepting emotional control of themselves when honest feedback is given. Even when it’s hard to hear.
They own their actions and their consequences.
Ray Dalio, who founded Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, believes so strongly that honest feedback is important that they record almost every interaction and make them available to anyone in the company at any time. Many can not handle this type of honesty and simply don’t make the cut…
And, that benefits Bridgewater… Their philosophy actively screens out those who can not give and receive authenticity beyond a surface level. Their culture has produced fantastic results and they continue to do so year in and year out with a philosophy of transparency and truth telling.
The beauty of speaking to people with a degree of depth around something as important as relationships, and understanding their way of interacting… what they will and won’t accept or what they want to create is paramount in developing any type of organization, family, friendship, or management hierarchy that works. If the underlying values and principles you need to create your vision of being in relationship on any level are lacking, you are best off moving on.
If moving past surface is too much for you or them, you can waste a great deal of your precious life force on a pairing that was never going to work.
So how about Religion? What about politics? If you look hard at the two of these, its fairly easy to see many similarities between the two.
Personally, I see politics being a religion for many who claim religion is crap. They worship government power and want to coerce their neighbors under threat of force to pay ever increasing taxes in order to redistribute wealth to non producers under the guise of the common good.
Then, I see politics in organized religion in the form of there being a hierarchy of power that in most cases can not be questioned, as well as vast swaths of authoritarianism in the fundamentalist churches and no doubt a tremendous repressive dose of authoritarian power in the radical Muslims who believe jihad should be waged on all non believers.
People of all backgrounds, races, and creeds love to mock and argue with one another online… yet never really seek to get to the heart of the underlying philosophies of politics and religion and those who participate in each.
Again, these topics cannot be ignored. Politics and religion are woven into the fabric of every culture on earth. Unchecked politicians continue make laws that for even the slightest offenses can end up in arrest, they continue to steal and thieve from productive people in the form of taxation and buy votes with their ill gotten gains. Legally…
Do we really need to fine and jail people for collecting rainwater on their own property? (As in the case of a man in Oregon a few years ago)
Religious zealots bomb peaceful assemblies, drive box trucks into crowds of people, and throw homosexuals off buildings. With the blessing of their god…
In many ways, the underlying philosophies of each is rooted in power and force, and controlling the actions of the masses through fear and intimidation. Because without the support of the capite censi, they hold no sway. We owe it to all of humanity to speak deeply on these topics and explore the reality of each with measured logical consistency.
In speaking with your neighbor, maybe you find out she supports Obamacare and hates big business. So she supported a man who wrote a law in conjunction with big business to force peaceful people to surrender large amounts of cash to big business. She supported this in the name of compassion and common good… But, would she herself be willing to go next door and force her neighbor at gunpoint to fork over 1500 a month in family insurance premiums?
Of course not, she would immediately recognize that as theft. Yet, by outsourcing her coercion to the agents of the state, she can sleep easy knowing that someone else was given the power to do something she would never personally do when they put on a magic badge and represent the man she supported.
This is nothing but authoritarianism. But because it is disguised as compassion for the common good, it isn’t given a second thought. Maybe if a conversation around what represents virtue and what represents vice could prevent this type of faulty thinking.
I mean, you’d have to be a special kind of asshole to know how much you caused another to suffer financially, and then vote them into suffering, right?
Yet, that is what people do without thinking they are guilty of committing a crime against their neighbor.
These are the ideas people desperately need to be talking about. At what point am I infringing on your right to pursue happiness, save for your kids college, or put money away for retirement… Should large groups of people who deal in force be able to make me worship or behave the way their religion dictates…
Authoritarian vs. Libertarian. Controlling others vs. Freeing others. What is your philosophy? Have you ever even considered arriving at one?
These are topics that must be discussed and considered. Not hidden away in personal interaction, then expressed in vitriol on facebook like a keyboard coward.
Getting face to face with someone who may think differently than you think is truly Doing The Hard Thing. You can not know how it will go, and there is fear around the unknown. You must have some degree of courage. And lets be honest, no one is suggesting you go wrestle an alligator. I’m simply asking you to connect and communicate around complex ideas.
Personally, I believe in free people, free markets, and free minds… History has shown us that when those items exist in a population, people are most productive and most peaceful and relate best with one another. What say you?
If you haven’t yet developed your personal philosophy on these topics, I challenge you start working on it now!
That’s it for today! Thank you for listening, and if you found value in this message be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google, Castbox, or Stitcher | Share this with those you know need to hear it on social | And I’ll see you back here in the next episode | This is Jason Archer signing off | Now… go, and DO THE HARD THING.
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