Last week among my Facebook and Twitter friends across the U.S., commentary exploded after the Portable and Affordable Health Care Act (detractors call it “Obamacare”) was declared Constitutional and thus the law of the land. Those who were delighted to see that millions of uninsured Americans would be able to get insurance and receive health care cheered and shared their enthusiasm. Those who were devastated to see that millions of uninsured Americans would have no choice but to have insurance or pay a penalty jeered and shared their dismay. And then they started talking to each other, and the feverish venom began to spew.
Those who love the law have their reasons, based on one set of facts. Those who hate the law have their reasons, based on a different set of facts. Flinging their reasons and facts at each other with ever-increasing force and anger created such hateful exchanges and obscene name-calling that many people just stayed away from the social media discussion for a few days to let things settle.
It was a perfect storm of bad will, complete with torrential rains of hyperbole, crashing waves of distortion and piercing thunderbolts of moral indignation. It was a perfect example of why disagreements are never resolved with “facts”. Even though I sincerely wish that more people in this debate would actually be able to look at the neutral facts of the case before spouting off about it, I know that in the state of mind my country is in, it wouldn’t change anything. Facts don’t matter.
“Facts don’t matter?!?”, I can hear some people thinking. What do you mean? If information doesn’t matter, what the heck does matter? How can we make progress without information?
It’s a conundrum. When we are fearful and insecure, we cling to familiar thinking and cannot reflect or accommodate anything new. Anything we don’t already think or know does not penetrate the walls we build around our familiar thoughts. When we are at peace and secure, new information is interesting, but the goal is to transcend all current thinking through reflection to arrive at higher common ground. Facts don’t matter in a state of fear and insecurity because anything new is threatening. Facts don’t matter in a state of peace and security because they are simply ideas that pass through our minds on the journey towards ever more evolutionary ideas.
Looking at the state of mind of a whole culture, a whole nation, it isn’t difficult to understand why people find it so difficult to get along. We are living in low mood times, characterized by all the negative feelings and defensiveness associated with insecurity. No one in a position of leadership is addressing the prevailing state of mind. Instead, we are all continually hammered with more facts, more information, more misinformation, more to think about. That is not the cure; it is the symptom of rampant insecurity. It fuels the fires of anguish and hopelessness.
The cure is peace of mind. Our state of mind matters. Peace of mind matters.
Here’s a brief chat about that.
In the words of Sydney Banks
“The consciousness of humankind must be elevated. Only then, when the spiritual and physical realities are united, will we find the power and intelligence to guide us through life. Wisdom cleans the channels of your mind and brings sanity into your life. You must find it for yourself.”