If you could do anything right now, anything at all, what would you do? Why? Here is a slightly different question. If you had no constraints, if you could cause one thing to happen in the world, what event or change would you choose? Now, consider that of all the things you could have chosen, you chose this (whatever that is). What does that say about you? About your orientation and desires? Do you express such interests in your day to day decisions?
When you begin to consider what you might do if you could do anything, what is your first and second thought? Hard to pin down? For many of us one of those thoughts will be negative—some reason we believe stands in the way of doing something we say we want. We bump our heads on that learned limitation some have called achievable belief threshold or ABT—which effectively stops us in our tracks. While our wishes reflect what is important to us, so do our beliefs in limits to our freedom to fully express ourselves. But are these limits real, imposed contrivances or excuses?
Let’s go further. If you could project a thought and that thought would immediately come to pass, what would it be? What would you choose? Think carefully before you decide. What would this desire of yours cure or correct (if anything)? What might change—not just for you but for others as well? Who would the change hurt or injure in some way? Who benefits? Who loses? Having thought that through, consider what might happen if everyone got an identical opportunity to have a thought manifest in the world. Would the thoughts of others counteract yours? (If so, perhaps you should consider choosing something else? Something more humane or inclusive, perhaps?)
If we could all create the world we want, in the wake of wish cancellations, who would be left standing and in what kind of world would we live? Do you think those who currently ‘rule the world’ would remain dominant? Would these people and organizations still exist? And how might you fair in the wake of other people’s wishes?
Perspective is a funny thing. We all view the world from a point of view. We then proceed through life as if we know what “real” is, sure that our take is the correct one or at least good enough for…but, for what exactly? If what we believe is off just a little how can we ever trust that we know what we are seeing or think we are experiencing? If we really cannot fully know, how do we judge the appropriateness of our actions if we do not really know what is real? When our assumptions about the world are actually little more than guesses, approximations, jerry-rigged contrivances we call, for instance, justice, or merely justification, right or merely right now, commonsense or common nonsense, correctness or merely corrected assumptions modified to fit the mores of the current culture, why do we insist we are right in our beliefs? How do we know? Who says?
Faced with such ephemeral foundations for most of what we believe to be “true” we can rest assured that we are not “wrong”. Our beliefs are not (necessarily) inappropriate. That is just the way it is. That’s life—EveryDayLife. We choose. We pretend that what we hold in our hands, in our thoughts, in our religions, creeds, ideologies and political persuasions is that chimera we call the Truth. Despite the closed verification loop which supports our notions of truth, the stronger our belief, the stronger our commitment to our chosen idea of truth, the louder we tend to proclaim it (which also applies to the perspective espoused here). Me thinks we protest too much!
Let’s go back to the beginning, to the idea of wishing the world anew. Consider this wish. What if every person in existence suddenly loved and behaved toward themselves and everyone else as they might toward their own infants? What would the world look like then? How might your experience change—both on the giving and the receiving end? How might interpersonal, intrapersonal, community, state, federal and international interactions change? Who would most likely end up “in charge?”
These what-if questions are not about direct change of the day-to-day operation of the world. They are about altering our consciousness, raising our awareness, shifting our habitual orientation and approach to EveryDayLife such that we gain some perspective on what is really important to us, the root meanings and motivators in our lives. When we question our assumptions, we gain the possibly of understanding that our proposed truths only remains so if we stay in one place, stilted, frozen in place, positioned in just the right spot to allow our intended implications to remain powerful albeit covert, deep within our life experiences. If we were in psychotherapy a classic challenge to our assertions might sound like “Okay, what you say is true, but what if it weren’t?”. Challenging our most cherished assumptions gives us the opportunity to explore counter ideas. Reaching beyond our go-to beliefs, we stand a chance of embracing the impossibly Utopian notions that waft unnoticed or ignored through our lives, transforming “that could never happen” into “how might I help?”
Here are a couple debrief questions. Imagine that everyone—EVERYONE—treats everyone else as if the others were their own infants—not school children, not family, but new born human beings. Okay, yeah, that would never happen. And that is the point. Why? What prevents such attitudes and behaviors? Exactly why will that never happen? What are the specific barriers which prevent such a global occurrence?
Second and final question. What elements in your life, in your attitudes, in your behaviors would have to change if you were to attempt to relate to a small number—just two or three—people as if you were responsible for them—responsible in the same way as if you were charged with the care of a new born child? Why will you never do this? Imagine—eh…what was that you said? Are you your brother’s keepers? Hmmm… Apparently not. What if you were? There is some perspective to ponder!