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XTimes 1.04-Righter

I’m dismayed by how easily I get sucked into right/wrong reasoning, even though I probably know better. My admission qualifies as roughly equivalent to a junk food junkie confessing to his Chunky Monkey jones. Few questions meaningfully distill into black or white, wrong or right; they seem to require a broader palette to hold enough perspectives. I know this in my bones yet still find myself taking sides.

Perhaps this bi-polar perspective holds some hypnotic or addictive quality, over-riding knowledge and understanding, eliciting something akin to fight or flight responses: right or wrong. Curious behaviors emerge whenever I convince myself I’m right. My confidence and sense of certainty expands. Being right feels right, even when—perhaps especially when—only a minority share my opinion. It’s gets even weirder when I conclude I’m wrong. Then, my self-esteem seems to plummet and my very identity springs a leak. I can watch myself deflate until I disappear. Marginalized. Loser.

I could be wrong about this, but right/wrong-good/bad-dichotomous thinking seems to occur in my reptilian brain, the one designed for making simple decisions, not the later-evolved brain intended to cope with more complexity. Defaulting as I do into my inner dinosaur decision-maker might strand me in an evolutionary backwater, stalemated while surrounded by endless unrecognized possibilities.

I know all of this, but knowing seems to influence little when enticed by the lure of simply selecting a simple this or a simpler that. I know I could (and maybe should) choose neither and elevate consideration into one of my snazzier frontal lobes. I often do not. I mystify myself.

I am sometimes capable of catching myself just before I snap down on the alluring bait, more often just after I feel the hook sinking into raw flesh. Then I can choose again or at least recognize that I’ve tumbled again, and let myself lose the debate or decline the invitation to champion either cause.

The devil seems one partisan soul. He already knows which way you should go without even asking. He offers false choices of this-es and thats-es and never falls distracted by the facts-es. He rejects the need to integrate and insists until it’s far too late for anyone to win. He hoards his payoffs as if they were treasure while praying nobody will ever measure the cost of his contentment. He insists upon conflict and compromise and often promises alluring prizes he fails to deliver. He long ago stopped stealing souls since he found most would just give theirs away.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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