We cannot convince every person we meet that they should vote for our desired candidate or believe in our vision of how the world should be. We can try and I like many of you probably have done so repeatedly. We can’t convince people or undo decades of conditioning with a good argument based on facts. The human brain doesn’t work that way. In most cases people have years sometimes decades of practice thinking about life in one particular way. Those thoughts sit on a foundation made up of their most deeply held values often learned as children. Values like hard work pays off, nobody should get something for nothing, fair play is very important, or we are our brothers keepers, these are sometimes referred to as “deep frames” in that they frame the way we see the world.
People sometimes are not in a space where they can accept something new, especially something that challenges their personal deeply held view of how life works. When people think about something they’ve read, or heard, their brain does a type of check sum to measure the new bit of data up against these foundation values. If they don’t align with them then it is like when as children we discovered how two magnets can repel when placed together, the offending ideas just push away.
After nearly a decade on social media I’ve given up on convincing people that my ideas or believes are right. It’s almost like people have to come to their own understanding of something by themselves through their own processes. Memes are fun but they don’t change decades of emotional cognitive conditioning.
I believe that all we can do is be the best us we can be. Hopefully be kind more than not, be friendly, thoughtful, supportive and when possible informative.
I like to ask people questions more than try to provide answers sometimes it’s more fruitful. Like I ask if they’re a registered voter and will be helping us by voting in this election it being so very important. Sometimes I’ll ask a worker if they make $15 an hour in most cases they laugh since most here make well under that.
Then I’ll tell them about Bernie Sanders and his plan to make sure everyone who works for a living has enough pay for that work to afford living in human dignity starting with a $15 an hour federal minimum wage. Usually they go wow really? Yes I tell them really, imagine how your life would change if you were making $15 an hour? They all smile, always! They say yes I could afford college or I could afford this or the other thing, see my kids more and so on!
I was at the supermarket a couple days ago, and the woman in the deli area asked if she could get me anything? I get asked this so often by people in the service industry in town since they’re trained to do so, that I thought one day. What do I really want?
I now like to answer the question “can I get you anything sir?” with “Yes! I’d like world peace, equality for women and men, and justice for everyone on the planet!” To a person, every person smiles then sincerely tells how much they’d like that also.
So this nice woman across the counter says, you know you should say that on TV so the world can hear it. I said I’d like to but I’m grateful I can say it with you now. She said, “you know what? I’m going to say this to my friends, points to a coworker now listening and says and she will say it to her friends!
I said yes! That is how I think we start this revolution.
I write at www.JosephSegal.com, build websites, advocate for peace, equality and justice and in general do my best to be a good human being.