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Moving Beyond Outrage Culture

As I caught up with one of my closest friends the other day, it occurred to me that most of the memorable epiphanies I've experienced have come through conversations with people who shared perspectives or facts that I wasn't aware of.

What a magical experience it is to tap into a new thought about the world and its people - it's akin to seeing the sunset for the first time.

Sadly, I am noticing that the world is morphing into distinct echo chambers where new or opposing thoughts are generally not welcome.  Many are quick to be offended and even outraged.  We belong to a tribe or we don't - there's little room for visitors who don't have the same views on big life matters.

The great tragedy of living within distinct echo chambers and being so ready to spar with those who have views different from ours is that we have less opportunities to learn and grow and experience life-enhancing epiphanies.  Many of us are so busy guarding the boundaries of our tribal grounds that we forget how much beauty there is across the way.

Until recently, outrage culture has largely existed online where there is little to no perceived cost to being a keyboard warrior.  It's worrisome that this mindset of being aggressive and combative is spilling over into face-to-face encounters.

If there's a path to more peaceful days, I believe it involves individuals striving to live with more gratitude and a heart of service.  As Bob Marley said, the problem with the world is that people don't cherish good people, they try to use them.   Imagine a world in which the majority of us focus on bringing joy to those around us.  None of us can create such a world on our own, but we can create this vibration in our own circle of life.  And as more such circles emerge and overlap, maybe, just maybe we can collectively shift culture for the better.

This isn't to suggest that we roll over and let selfish people trample us. Narcissism, entitlement, and greed are real and ever-present - when we recognize those who live with these and other toxic values, we are best to wish them well and set healthy boundaries or cut ties altogether.

But for all others, let's remember what the great and powerful Alfred Adler once said:  the remedy for most problems is to think less about our individual wants and needs, and instead, to put our focus on being a better friend.

 
 

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Comments

Thank you Dr. Ben Kim, for all you do - very well said - we all need to take a more gentle, peaceful approach, with ourselves and others.

I live in Costa Rica & am always grateful for your newsletters. Today's message is perfect. If we all practice this way of being we will create the most incredible world for all. We practice this way here.....actually it was already a part of the culture....