Humans Should Only Ever Talk About Their Experiences
All of of our beliefs are outcomes of an accumulation of an infinite number of microscopic life experiences — feelings, interactions, observations — all of which meld together and form views. Having defined views and opinions help us make sense of our world and the reality around us. But since everyone has difference life experiences, everyone inevitability ends up with a unique set of views. Therefore, we could say that reality is subjective according to the person who is experiencing it: since nobody can ever experience 100% of the things there are to experience in life, nobody can ever understand 100% of reality.
With all that being said, as humans with our oversized brains and capability capacity for logical reasoning, I do believe it is an obligation for each person to at least attempt to align their views, or perspective of reality, as closely to the “full” unachievable reality, as they possibly can. Achieving this stems from deliberately practicing being open and empathetic to different ways of thinking, and results in our feeling less feel threatened or angry when we encounter them.
The fastest way to reach tolerance is to see people as people, not as orbs of ideological persuasion. In the overpoliticized society of the US today, the latter is commonplace, and the former is practically unheard of.
I strongly believe that if there were an American today slowly being engulfed in a patch quicksand, and another American walked by, rather than rushing to help, he would first ask the sinking man who he voted for in the previous election, and then decide whether or not to help him based on his answer.
All humanity has gone out the window because we have come to see each other as our politics, rather than as human beings who happen to have political opinions.
How can we avoid this dynamic, and come back to a more humanistic way of interacting with one another?
The answer is simple. First, stop making everything political. Accept that others have had different life experiences than you, and that those life experiences have led them to different conclusions on political issues.
Secondly, understand that opinions, in and of themselves, mean very little.
We judge people based on their opinions because we have some strange tendency to associate political views with morality, and that if a person believes this or that, they are evil and should be flung off the face of the planet (see: Godwin’s Law). The truth is, views don’t matter at all. What matters is what we do, not what we say.
Our obsession with condemning people for holding the “wrong” views only exacerbates the divisions within society, gives rise to cancel culture, and flouts the basic principles of freedom of expression.
If we were to look at people as humans first, and their politics at a far second, society and our interactions with one another — both online and off — will be much more civil and illuminating.
If we were to talk about our experiences, rather than the products of them — our views — we will be able to empathize and relate with one another 1000x better. At that point, we might just be able to come up with some real solutions.