I wish you and your loved ones the appreciation of nuance. Because to appreciate nuance is:
To appreciate the subtle differences in shades of meaning.
To see the beauty and wonder hidden in the subtle.
To appreciate the mystery and magic of the unknowable.
To let go of the rightness or wrongness of your judgments.
To enjoy the unadorned “isness” of your life that can only be found in acceptance.
To luxuriate in the peace and contentment of the present moment.
So, why this wish now?
Appreciation for nuance seems to have been dealt a fatal blow by ideological possession and political correctness. And it’s getting worse, to the extent that we cannot not only appreciate it but actually reject it out of hand.
I first became aware of this during the interchanges I had when I posted my recognition of Dr. Jordan Peterson as a brilliant thinker. (Just a reminder: Making an observation is not necessarily a full-throated defense of the observed. For instance, I appreciated Martin Heidegger’s contributions to philosophy but didn’t endorse his Nazism.)
We’ve reached a point where one must agree to an ideological axiom completely, without question, and without a deeper analysis. If we don’t agree wholeheartedly, we are considered an enemy of that ideology.
I know this personally from having the audacity to defend “SOME old white guys” from the many evils allegedly perpetrated on Western Civilization by “ALL old white guys.”
I went back to Dr. Peterson’s many interviews on YouTube and watched a few more hours to understand this issue better.
The interviewers’ efforts to put words into his mouth were alarmingly obvious. They were desperate to convince Dr. Peterson to confirm their erroneous interpretations of his positions. A phenomenon I’ve seen so many times on Facebook in responses to complex topics. For example, “You said, you wrote, you meant,” instead of, “I think.”
In this era of hypervigilance to every potential offense, it’s probably a good idea to remind ourselves the world we experience is happening in our heads, our unique response to what’s going on “out there.”
None of us operate directly on the external world but on our perceptions and interpretations of those perceptions.
So, our reactions are not to the events but our interpretations of the events. It’s called owning our opinions and then confirming our comprehension, rather than insisting our point of view is the other person’s truth.
All that as background, my wish is that we begin to appreciate the subtle distinctions in life. Because as we all know, the devil is in the details, but so is the richness, complexity, mystery, and magic.
Unless you decide that you know everything and your interpretation is the only correct one, but if you do, you’ve shut yourself into a dark room with no chance of the light of new learning and experience.
In simpler terms, you’ll miss the potential for the joy and celebration of our individuality and the uniqueness that brings so much life to life.
So, as we begin the second half of 2022, I wish you the joy you can only give to yourself. Accept the whole experience of life. A life unpolluted by ideological rigidity, uncontaminated by someone else’s standards of right and wrong, and undefiled by empty promises of virtue.
May you be the authentic you in an inauthentic world.