Travel Update: This is my final week in the Caucasus! I have the opportunity to go to another village tomorrow that wasn’t expected until I found out Saturday. As excited, as I am to continue traveling in Asia this upcoming month I will miss the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know and love here. They have done everything to try to make my experience a good one, filled invaluable with learning and self-discovery. In a week I’ll be catching a flight to Thailand to go to a media conference where people all over the world come to learn and share. Following this, I’ll meet up with Celine to see the organization she’s been with and all the wonderful work she’s done! I’m not sure how the Internet connection will be so I may not be able to write for a while. Maybe the post below will be long enough to keep you reading and thinking for a while though! Enjoy!
You may think that the title of this post is cliché, lame, or boring but it’s relevant to the photos posted and what I’ve been pondering lately. Before I get into my thoughts, the images below are from when Celine and I had the privilege to go out to a village where I took an abundance of local food photos for yet another minority people group. In addition to having the always-riveting opportunity to go to new location, Celine was able to witness what a lot of my work has been comprised of. Now to get to what I’ve been thinking.
Throughout my time in the Caucasus I’ve had a lot of time to think. Thinking of where my future is going or where I want it to go, thinking of what I believe, thinking of what others believe, thinking of how what I believe influences my daily life, and thinking of how privileged I am to dwell on these thoughts. Each of these thoughts could merit their own post but this one is going to be more about how people think and what I think could be signs of our primitive minds pushing through. I know it might be a touchy territory to enter if I paint various ideologies with a broad brush but bear with me.
Being a frequent listener of the Bad Christian, Pastor With No Answers, Don’t Feed the Trolls, and The Liturgist Podcast’s I’ve somewhat become accustomed to trying to relate or justify personal positions that are contrary or analogous to their proposed viewpoints. Depending on the Podcast I’ve been relating to many of the points being made and now that I’ve started reading R.C. Sproul’s book “The Consequences of Ideas” it has made me look at the core of how we come up with our ways of knowing. Often online or even in person you get into conversations where people get infuriated merely because you differ in unessential opinions. Seeing that there are very few absolute truths that our finite minds can grasp I find this so amusing.
Recently I came to the position that people who are easily angered and outburst either verbally, physically, or emotionally are essentially resorting back to humanities primitive ways of communication. Rarely do you see people of truly high intellect bursting out in raging fits or being violent when their ideas are opposed and when you do I think there is often mental disorders or barriers at play. Now this statement in itself may invoke a bit of anger in you but I encourage you not to smash your computer . There is obviously a difference between being passionate about your position and angery. Often it’s difficult to differentiate between these two when there is public forum but in intimate situations between two close people the difference becomes obvious.
This past weekend I had to defend my character when it was being inaccurately presented to an audience that could drastically affect my professional relationships and future. Initially, I was infuriated but after seeking other perspectives and wise counsel I was able to turn from a raging outburst that could’ve occurred if I were to refute the claims immediately. Admittedly, I could feel my emotions getting the best of me but by the time I replied I was seeing clearly and capable of accurately presenting a rebuttal. Far too often, with the internet being a primary source of communication, people of all ages say things that they wouldn’t say in person and it immediately, negatively impacts how all bystanders perceive them.
I want to conclude this more extensive post by encouraging all of you to analyze how you are thinking and how that influences the way you deal with conflict or disagreement. Do your primitive emotions exceed your logical mind more often than not? What are some things that trigger your emotional reactions to erupt? Keep these things in mind the next time you see something online that enrages you or you strongly agree with. I would love to hear your thoughts on what I‘ve expressed in the comments below!