Dualistic Thinking Limits Us
Recently a friend of mine said that his concern, “… way out in front of global warming, is job growth. Once people have jobs and income, then we can start working on issues like climate change.”
This kind of dualistic thinking gets us in trouble with our country, our environment, our relationships, our health, and in every area of our lives.
The truth is it’s almost never either/or.
Examples of such faulty thinking include:
- I have to work and/or travel a lot so I can’t eat well.
- I can’t take care of our children and take care my partner.
- I’m in a huge rush, so I don’t have time to say what I need to say in a civil manner.
- I’m too busy to exercise.
- I’m too busy to meditate and be reflective.
- I’m too busy to take the time to do my work conscientiously.
- Feelings are more important than thoughts.
- Intelligence is more important than intuition.
The truth is that if you rush your communication with your partner, if you don’t take the time to say “I love you,” you are going to have less connection, less energy, and less productivity. I know that by taking care of my partner first, we’ll both do a better job of taking care of our children. It’s like they say on the airplanes, “Put your own oxygen mask on first, so that you can better assist your child.”
The truth is that if you don’t take the time to exercise and eat well, you’ll have poorer health, less energy and less productivity.
Ghandi, whose routine included meditating an hour a day, famously said, “I have so much to accomplish today, I need to meditate for two hours instead of one.”
I’m a capitalist and a socialist, and I see no contradiction there. I believe in free markets and in ensuring that every citizen has basic needs like health care. It doesn’t have to be either/or.
Dualistic thinking is killing us. The dualistic media (virtually all media) wants to create confrontation on every front. It’s what sells. It what lets us tap into our righteous ego titillation – the juicy negative pleasure we get from being pissed off. We need to find a healthier way to get that pleasure. We need to be inclusive, not exclusive. We need to come from abundance, not scarcity.
I happen to think that both the planet’s and humanity’s survival depend on it – at least in the long run, if not in our lifetimes.
God bless us all.
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver, The Summer Day