The conscientious alien

I often notice how my thinking, my frame of reference, is different from folks around here. Many times I feel uncertain and I don’t know if I understand what people are saying or not. That is the plight of the conscientious alien.

Ethnocentrism

People have a way of accepting their culture as both the best and the only way of doing things. They don’t fully realize that their perception of “normal” is  not universally shared, but exclusive to their culture. This attitude is called ethnocentrism, a belief that not only one’s culture, but one’s race and nation form the center of the world.

Mark Twain

Are we stuck with the beliefs and prejudices that we were indoctrinated with?

Mark Twain:

“I am aware that when even the brightest
mind in our world has been trained up
from childhood in a superstition of any
kind, it will never be possible for that mind,
in its maturity, to examine sincerely,
dispassionately, and conscientiously
any evidence or any circumstance
which shall seem to cast a doubt upon
the validity of that superstition.”

All of us have internalized values and beliefs that we did not choose and from which we cannot break free. Understanding that each of us is the unique result of a genetic setup and infinitely diverse life experiences allows for tolerance and compassion, instead of moralizing and judging.

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