How many times have you entered into a conflict of ideas with a friend about something very insignificant, maybe you couldn’t seem to see things the same way about a specific event like a football game or couldn’t quite agree who was the best musician of all time, this might seem like a little conflict but it actually hides a deeper truth which we are for the most part oblivious to. It might seem on the surface that there isn’t much to it, you just have strong opinions about certain things which but the reality is that this is actually a pattern inscribed into our DNA. In the same way you are convinced about something as simple as a mistake done by a referee on a football pitch, it’s the same way you are strongly convinced about your political views or your perception of the world.
This isn’t necessarily something bad but the problem comes in because we often carry strong beliefs independent of the facts which surround them or whether they are right or wrong, as humans we crave stability not just externally but also internally so once we’ve settled on an idea, we really don’t want or like to see it change for any reason, this goes to the extent where we would rather lie to ourselves than to accept the truth which might lead us to a change in beliefs. We hold so many strong beliefs without having any solid proof or facts to give us this level of certainty, why must you believe in just one leader, or why do you trust your brakes to work all the time?
There are so many things you have no certainty about, and yet you believe in them so firmly to the point of attacking everything which might challenge your worldview.
Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it gets that way because with time, we always come to a better understanding which should lead us to a different way of thinking but because we don’t like challenging our beliefs, we find ourselves stuck in the old ways never wanting to change.
By observing animals you have a good illustration of this, all animals of thesame specie behave pretty much the same, they follow the same pattern of thinking and rarely deviate from it, they don’t try new things or really go out of their way to be different, humans (with my limited knowledge) are the only specie who go out of their way to innovate, most other species just find a balance in any environment they are found and stick to it. You don’t see no turtles inventing wheels or lions using forks to eat.
My point here is that, when your thinking doesn’t change then you can’t innovate, you stick just to what you know for generations and its difficult to do so because we crave stability which is achieved when things stay thesame so this eventually plays against us. We always seek to innovate and change up things, so having a thinking which doesn’t change would play against us.
Every generation came with its innovators who moved society forward, they didn’t just break the societal norms of their time but also paved the way for others to do the same but these innovators no matter how intelligent they might have been would inevitably come short of ideas at some point and start stagnating, they would focus on what worked for them and not actively try to break the standards they established themselves. So eventually society will just become one monopoly controlled by one idea which never changes, making us no different from every other specie.
I am not implying that other species don’t evolve or change, its just something which happens a lot faster for humans. In just less than 100 years we have invented so much and our consciousness is way advanced, we conquered the skies and seas and now we are moving to conquer space, while there are some species which can’t even tell what a mirror is, we are already considering interplanetary travel in upcoming years.
Moving Forward as a society
Since the dawn of time, for us to move forward as a society, we have had to accept new ideas and explore much more of our consciousness, try things we didn’t think were possible and go to places where nobody else went. Changes in not just thinking but also in character is what has helped us go this far, always striving to adapt by exploring our thinking. I am not saying this change happens instantly, but it does happen very fast and so if we lock our society with the same ways of thinking it would be difficult for us to move forward, if it were the same leaders, the same rules, the same processes then society won’t move forward. The first person might not find the solution, neither would the second person, but over enough iteration of persons the solution will come to light.
Change is detrimental
The average person won’t change their mind very often during their lifetime, the stability of thinking is necessary in order to maintain a sustainable internal and external balance in our hearts and mind. In your young years you do have the options to explore so many ideas and take so many risks but the older you get the less likely that becomes the case, you settle in to the long held beliefs and focus on making those permanent. The only problem is that our environment is constantly changing which is something we can’t control, before we didn’t have to worry about certain things because there wasn’t a large population but now it’s the case and just that alone comes with another countless amount of things we got to worry about. Before we didn’t understand the universe and its dangers but now we have to start thinking of how to overcome potential destruction from asteroids, aliens, black holes, plagues and so many other things we know nothing about.
All these novel information and projects can’t be comprehended by a single individual nor a single generation, let alone dealt with, that’s the reason why evolving in our thinking is so detrimental to our survival. The good thing is that we don’t have to do it all alone, when we can’t find the solution ourselves at least we can pave the way for others who will come after us.
You need to be aware of your bias against change, that stops you from exploring new ideas which could be actually profitable to you. Be more conscious about the basis for your certainties, why do you really think you are right over the other person? Our environment is constantly evolving and so for us to be able to keep up with it, we must be willing to accept and embrace change.