It’s not enough telling people to stop doing things. And it’s especially ineffective to criticize the way people do certain things because of the presence of ego. Usually, when we want to change people’s minds, we try to fight them or persuade them. But the first option, like most arguments, serve little to no purpose in changing minds. And the people who are listening to the debate usually look for justification for the way they already think. Persuasion on the other hand can be draining, because we never know how long it will take to change someone else’s mind, or to create habit change that will last indefinitely.
I present us with a third option: to create. Instead of using our valuable time and energy to fight or persuade others, unless it is absolutely necessary, we must redirect it to the one thing we have full control over: ourselves. We can create a community, build relationships with others who are lost in the dust just like us, make art that represents ourselves and learn to communicate our thoughts through better speaking and writing.
When we fight, we are defending the old, the things that are already archaic. There is nothing new to be found in the past. On the other hand, persuasion requires using the knowledge we already know, meaning that we have to feel that our way of thinking is superior to the other, so that they need to be persuaded. This is already a losing strategy against the ego of the other.
But to create is to be present, to use the energy we would otherwise use to defend established rules, traditions and systems in order to advance forward and create new support groups and communities in which new ideas can thrive.
One example I can think of is Bill Nye. Growing up, watching his shows was something that helped me feel like I have a place in the world; that there is a place for the fringe wandering individuals, the weird and the quirky personalities. It influenced my decision to pursue a degree in chemistry and eventually become a chemist. And I was more than excited when after many years, he made a return to the screen to help the cause of global warming and making science “cool again.”
When I see him now (especially when I chance to see him in person) all I see is an angry person who is (rightfully) angry at raising climate change awareness. I would like say that people change, but in reality, it’s people NOT changing and adapting that causes the problems that recur from the past. People are not creating enough, expressing enough and sharing ideas enough. Science was fucked the moment people started entering the field it for the paycheck rather than wondering how often they can be wrong about things through experiment.
Science has lacked the spirituality of creation for many years. The people who created original work, the Tesla, the Einstein, the Schroedinger, the Edison weren’t afraid to be wrong, and were actually wrong often before coming up with something novel and groundbreaking. And even then, ideas were stolen all the time. But, this didn’t really deter them, because it was less about (well-deserved) recognition, and more about constant learning. To create requires generous humility and courage, and this is the best option we have if we really want to start making some changes in the world: with us, with you and our creations.