“Fairness happens voluntarily. It never happens by control. People have to be free to make mistakes and learn from them. Otherwise, the system is not open and growth is not possible.” ~ Paul Ferrini, I am the Door.
I’m trying to get back to a regular schedule of posting with an inspirational quote on Fridays and a philosophical post on or around Tuesday. In some of the upcoming posts, I’ll be discussing quotes from the person I quoted above. I’m a huge fan of his philosophy which combines psychology with spirituality. I used those aspects in my yet-to-be-published fictional story and quoted him on my blog several times.
Just that simple sentence I’ve written above has received chastisement from some dog-people. Why?
Let me see if I can explain and tie my experience into the quote I cited.
Here is an exact demand I’ve received from dog-people, “Stop comparing him to your other dogs.”
Imagine that comment with a snide attitude.
You see, not only are we being told what to do with our health choices all over the world, but I’m being told how to think about my dogs.
I tried to comply with that message for Tre, thinking it might be beneficial in some way. Then I realized, my only knowledge about training dogs is what worked for me before. I’d be more than willing to try some new tactics if offered, but telling me what not to do isn’t helpful.
To be clear, this post is NOT about my dog or anything pertaining to dogs. It’s an example for a deeper message.
These days, I’m appalled at the hubris of those who tell others what to do as if they know what’s best for someone else. If something worked for them, everyone should do it because we’re all uniform, right?
You might say they’re just trying to help. However, on the grand scope of things, it’s really about them wanting things to be “fair.” If they do it, then everyone else should have to do it.
Of course, I’m open to new things. But I’m NOT open to demands or orders. I’m even less likely to comply if I’m threatened or bullied about doing something I don’t want to do.
I do much better when I follow my own instincts than when I do what others tell me to do.
Is it possible that most people are born knowing what to do, instinctually? Of course, as children we need guidance to decipher right from wrong. As adults, when we’ve made a mistake, many of us know it was wrong by how it feels in our guts (this is shown in the story of my two characters in “Whit’s End.”
As for me, my wrong decisions occurred when I denied my own instincts. I’d like the right to learn those lessons on my own and not have someone order me what to do. It goes against my very nature.
It goes against human nature.
Many people will take suggestions if they think those suggestions might help. But if it doesn’t help, why in the world would any of us keeping doing it?
Why do some addicts need to hit bottom before they can find sobriety? It takes some people more wakeup calls than others, because we are each uniquely made. As in Paul Ferrini’s quote at the top of this article, if we aren’t free to make mistakes, personal growth is not possible.
No matter how many are willing to comply and lose their freedom because they believe it’s for the greater good, it will never work. Instinctually we know doing something that doesn’t work over and over again and expecting different results is insane.
The human spirit strives to be free, and with the freedom to make discoveries on our own, solutions can be found.
Coming full circle back to our dog, we’ve tried many different options, some have worked, some have not. And so we continue to learn.