On occasion, you will reach a person’s “wall” and can’t see past it, at which point they are often making personal jabs at you to preserve their self-worth (“Yeah, well, what makes you so special?”). You can’t get much farther without risking serious harm to yourself or the other person. It’s our breaking point – created via repression; a product of repeatedly justifying our moral ambiguities.
Simply put, people knowingly do bad things, and in order to live without the guilt, they push the memory to the back of their mind, outside awareness. As more and more memories are piled on top, the pile grows so large that it becomes immovable and impenetrable.
The older you get, the bigger the wall gets, and it grows exponentially. It’s why there are racist, homophobic 85-year-olds, and why a large percentage of Americans still don’t believe in evolution or climate change. Closed-mindedness is probably the biggest obstacle for the success of one person and of humanity overall. When you simply cannot accept that you’re wrong, you’re adding to that which is already growing in the nether regions of your mind. Repression, as any psychiatrist knows, creates inner tension – the classic analogy being a pot of boiling water which must eventually blow off some steam. Sprinkle in some groupthink, and you have a recipe for war.
When you reach that “wall” as described above, you are essentially bringing to light the foundational beliefs on which people have forged their entire mental lives. Then comes “But you’re not even…” “what makes you so good that…” etc. Everyone has the freedom to believe what they wish, and it would be unethical to judge them based solely on said beliefs. However, everyone also has the freedom to act on their beliefs, and that’s where the shit can really hit the fan. I’ve seen it so many times, people’s “true colors” being revealed under duress, their real intentions made clear.
I challenge every person at every level of age, wealth, consciousness… to continually be questioning, doubting, and ultimately accepting. The concept of honor, nobility, greatness, call it what you will, is probably better than the effect of doing something bad to get something good. To the people engaging in the latter – why not stop now?