More contradictions in humans. We all know that if you are born in Japan, Canada, Syria, Estonia or any other country or region, that you have learned your own set of customs and habits when you grew up. You can divide it even more into the villages and cities within these countries, and what class, gender and race you come from. We all recognize these differences when we get confronted with them. Most of us will also understand why there are these differences, and the rest will probably to, if it is explained.
We probably learned why we should not like particular others. This dividing of people we encounter into good, neutral and bad is learned at school, and the house in the neighborhood we lived, while growing up, plunged from the womb into this culture. If life was this simple, we would still live like they did thousands of years ago, when you had to travel for days into the unknown to meet other people and their ways. These days it is much easier to come in to contact with other cultures.
One of the reasons why the scientific and industrial revolutions were at it strongest in Europe is because of the sea voyages around the world. Europe, the middle east and parts of Africa were already “used” to each other through their shared histories. They shared similar origin stories and philosophies, and in those 3 to 4 thousand years they lived with each other without ever questioning their status quo. When the seafaring adventures came back with stories of other, unknown cultures, a fuse was lit that would blow up this truce between the cultures and the scientist was born.
We could no longer believe what our traditions told us was the only way to go. If other, for us unknown, cultures can thrive and have long histories like ours, then we have good reasons to doubt our “answers”
What is the contradiction you might ask after this short history lesson: we learn our way of living from the place we are born. We come in contact with others, and learn the relativity of our viewpoints. This is how we, cultured animals have evolved, because we asked questions we live now in a much better world than 500 years ago. The contradiction is that now, a large part of the people on this planet still believe their own viewpoints, without questioning it. We all benefited from the progress we made, but this progress still rests on the shoulders of a few.
The poem for today is from Day 1287, it speaks for itself I think.