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Author Topic: Proposing an unbelievable idea  (Read 1948 times)

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Proposing an unbelievable idea
« on: March 15, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »

An Idea By Blake Higgins

Chris Rock is a smart man. Or at least he plays one in the movies.

In 1999’s “Dogma,” Rock plays the foul-mouthed 13th apostle Rufus. Throughout the film, Rock delivers some philosophical indictments of mankind that would make even the snootiest of academics put down his or her Oxford English Dictionaries to listen again.

“Life should be malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that,” he says. “Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can’t generate. Life becomes stagnant.”

That’s deep stuff from a stand-up comedian. But he makes a valid point. The world is overwhelmed with outdated, ineffective beliefs.

For some, the thought of letting go of a cherished belief is simply too frightening. The world is a confusing place, and beliefs are often used as a security blanket for the psyche. Others let their egos take over, shouting from a soapbox until everyone within earshot knows their beliefs.

The latter can be found in our own backyard. Acrimony between political parties has risen to levels unheard of in modern times, according to a National Public Radio article. Gone are the days of cross-party coalitions that created landmark legislation like the Social Security Act and the G.I. Bill.

Congress is now filled with legislators that rarely vote against their own parties, let alone try to form bipartisan partnerships. Last November, not a single Republican voted in favor of the controversial health care reform bill. The bill passed, but is being held up in federal courts. In the boat of politics, Democrats paddle one way, Republicans the other, and together, we all go nowhere.

The Arizona Republic reported that the workings of Congress are so gummed up that lawmakers couldn’t even come together to complete one of its most basic tasks: approving the federal government budget for the upcoming year. After passing a temporary budget to ensure federal agencies didn’t shut down, politicians took off for the campaign trail, leaving important issues on the table and a bad taste in constituents’ mouths.

The problems that inevitably arise from having firm beliefs aren’t just limited to the world of politics, though. Religious fracturing, civil rights violations and even terrorism can at least be partially blamed on stubborn believers. Many refuse to acknowledge the flexibility and compromise that can be reached from intelligent, productive conversation over a set of logical ideas.

Fictional professor Winter Sorbeck, who regrettably only lives in Chip Kidd’s novel “The Cheese Monkeys,” delivers a lecture that deserves to be heard in every classroom. “Never fall in love with an idea,” he advises. “Once the one you’re done with stops working for you, find another one. There is always, always, always another one.”

There is always another idea that needs to be explored when the status quo stops cutting it. It is time for those in power to lose the fear, work past the ego and recognize the harm that comes from blind obedience to rigid belief systems. Only then can true progress be made to realize the full potential of mankind.

Just an idea, though.


Credit: Blake Higgins
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“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs (American Entrepreneur, Apple co-Founder, b.1955)
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