There’s something revolutionary I’ve learned over the past couple years, and that is that an emotional reaction is not freethinking.
It’s insanely important for us to understand the need to separate our feelings from our actions. For example, I can say I’m freethinking, while ALSO being racist and void of empathy.
I can speak my mind, and attempt to house my inclination to do so under the umbrella of freethinking while ALSO ignoring the motivations for why I feel the need to speak my mind.
We get angry, annoyed, and frustrated with self-anointed freethinkers.
Case in point, a certain musical artist lighting up the digital sphere with words that appear to be so void of empathy, it’s mind-boggling.
A lot of people are pissed off, but I see his actions as a chance to access clarity. Not in regard to what he’s trying to say (Dude doesn’t need any more microphones right now) but in relation to figuring out what is underneath the disturbing, alt-right support he feels the need to lambaste the world with.
Clarity on freethinking is realizing that every action or word void of empathy is coming from a human being who is in pain.
This brand of self-sanctified freethinker doesn’t want you to think they are in pain. It’s not manly, powerful, popular, or societally accepted to show the vortex of fear that’s running his show. So out comes the justification responses:
“You just aren’t used to freethinkers like me.”
The wild and freeing thing is that People love Truth. They connect with it. It inspires them. So if a person in a public position like this dude is, dared to do the work to figure out where his drive to speak was coming from and then spoke to that, there would be many more open hearts than closed ones.
Hell, he might even be able to open up the seemingly permanently closed ones – that’s how powerful connection is.
To be human is to accept that you are capable of being kind and lovely and compassionate, while also accepting that you are equally capable of being an ego-maniacal asshole in the midst of feelings that are difficult to process.
This means that none of us are immune to being assholes. We’ve ALL got it in us to be jerks.
Now, we can look at the existence of a human being who feels the need to speak from that reactionary locale and call it freethinking as someone to fight against.
Or, we can recognize the little kid within that’s trying to play manager via statements like “I’m a freethinker!” and ask from a place of empathy, (because we all have experience with pain driving us to say and do fucked up things,) “What kind of pain is this kid harboring that is fuelling his need to say these deeply disturbing and damaging things?”
This opens the door to an excellent space of time to put our habit of making assumptions to use.
We can hypothesize about how the circumstances of his life might have steered him to act without concern over consequence, and label it as freethinking.
These assumptions could be used as fuel to establish generosity in the face of a perceived generosity drought. Because we all need a little help in that department when someone is being an asshole. Generosity is tough to access when hate is easily accessible.
So then the question or dare becomes: when someone is being an asshole, are you willing to take the hard road? Are you willing to accept that we are all capable of being assholes, given the right emotional parameters?
And are you willing to see how connection and compassion, even for the ones we are driven to hate, provides the power to heal?