Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you think what you think?
— From Dayo, as she experiences and learns. Welcome to The Mind Palace!
I had a squabble with someone recently and it went:
Me: ‘You know what you just said is sexist.’
Person: ‘…Ehn me I don’t know oh before you start bringing feminist argument’.
Sigh. I’m not even a feminist and I actively refrain from arguments such as these but that’s not the point here. Misogyny or sexism is also not what I want to address here.
What I want to address is not being able to defend your beliefs and ideologies. And in this case, not being able to defend your shit.
You see, if you’re afraid of subjecting your ideologies and beliefs to questioning, then best believe you’re most likely standing on a hot pile of lies or bullshit.
Why are some things considered ‘truths’? Because no matter the time and the conditions, they withstand the weight of questioning, they withstand attacks.
Of course, ideologies are more malleable than (objective) truths. But that’s why we question them!
- Is what I believe true?
- Is what I consider reasonable only reasonable in certain conditions?
- Is this conclusion subjective or objective?
- Am I menting?
To speak with clarity, authority, and emotional intelligence, we ought to subject our opinions to intrusive questions, and then hold our truths with an asterisk, knowing that better information might surface and experiences will alter them.
You do not have to agree with the crowd. You can be controversial but test your beliefs objectively so when you’re questioned you can talk with your chest. So you speak confidently and not resort to being defensive.
Questioning thought patterns, beliefs, and systems is not restricted to mundane conversations. It cuts across everything:
- Why do you practice your religion?
- Why will you vote for that candidate?
- Why do you choose frivolity over frugality?
Question everything and then hold onto truths with an asterisk so you can always re-evaluate.
If they are everlasting truths, they will always stand the test of questions and attacks, and while it’s not easy to let go of fundamental beliefs, rest knowing that choosing to hold onto ill-advised truths can make you a nuisance to society.