im currently powering through the book “sapiens” by yuval noah harari. its like reading an extremely dense but interesting history book. so i read a bit each day, forming a daily habit to be able to more efficiently absorb all it has to offer.
while reading a chapter on the unification of mankind, i came across this section that was worth retyping:
“ (…) contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture. in fact, they are the engines of cultural development, responsible for the creativity and dynamism of our species. discord in our thoughts, ideas, and values compel us to think, re-evaluate, and criticize.”
he then goes on:
“if tensions, conflicts, and irresolvable dilemmas are the spice of every culture, a human being who belongs to any particular culture must hold contradictory beliefs and be riven by incompatible values. (…) had people been unable to hold contradictory beliefs and values, it would probably have been impossible to establish and maintain any human culture.”
phew. read that again. ok lets go.
as uncomfortable as we are with situations of contradictory attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, its embedded in our humanity. its what has driven culture forward, while still creating unity.
“consistency is the playground of dull minds.”
i think this may be a subconcious reason why i felt driven out of LA. living in miami i feel closer to home, in the sense of a more tropical and latino environment. but i threw myself into an unknown social atmosphere, one where ive started to create friendships off of no prior connection (or atleast very minimal). through this ive come across people from different cultures, beliefs, educations, etc.
i mentioned in my previous post that im looking into product design. i wouldnt have even been introduced to that world without meeting people in the industry here in miami. now i am questioning my current career path because im aware of these other potential paths / possibilities… which creates major anxiety. its in complete contradiction of what i believed my future looked like. but what if im getting closer to something that may be more right for me?? time will tell. but opening myself up to these discussions with people in other industries is helping me see what is out there.
so im diving in.
what do i have in common with a 30 year old banker from bahrain? or a moroccan restauranteur from DC? what could i have in common or conflict with a conservative latina raised in miami? a married australian accountant?
(actual people ive met)
from their individual stories, i can further understand and define my own. as i try to figure out what i want from myself in the future i have to ask → when tested, what do i believe in? what does it mean to be on my side? to not be on my side? how am i presenting my thoughts to others? what is the story i tell others?
by figuring out what i am in conflict with, i can better establish my opinions. just because i am empathetic, does not mean i have to be neutral. consistency is boring.
someone once told me that the line between scared and excited is the best place to be.
i need to push myself to more actively put myself in situations in that grey zone. lets get comfortable with discord. thats where we learn the most about ourselves, because it gives us a chance to realize what we stand up for.