Thursday, August 27, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Twenty-Two

22. Opposite yourself.

By that I mean, whatever it is you like or are interested in, find someone who espouses the exact opposite of what you believe, and spend a little time each day reading or listening to or watching them.

If you're into sports and like a certain team, find someone who likes another team or sport. If you're a Republican, listen to a Democrat, and vice versa. If you hate a certain kind of music, try listening to some of it, anyway, now and then. Pro-this? Meet Anti-That.

With the way news organizations line up to present a given point, with the ability to skip some columnists and read others, with Google alerts and other web features letting us pick and choose what we want to read, hear, see, and experience, with iPods replacing radio, it becomes too easy to wrap ourselves in only those things that we agree with and which agree with us and which reinforce our world view.

That's too easy, and too wrong. Never being challenged means never testing the strength of your likes and your beliefs. If your viewpoints are right, then they can take a push from someone else who disagrees; being right means you don't fear listening to someone who's wrong. Only someone who's uncertain, or wrong, ignores or shouts down the opposition. And understanding the other side's point of view is important, even if you think they're wrong, because you have to know what you're up

If you do this, too, you might just find that you'll change, and grow. I've practiced this one for a long time now, and I've found my views changing from time to time, as I realize that a side I previously disagreed with had a good point. So I keep it up. I make it a point to listen to talk radio hosts I disagree with. I put music on my iPod that I might not otherwise like and leave it there. I try foods I previously hated. I read Maureen Dowd, even though she's never said anything I agree with. And I think about why they say what they say, and why I believe what I believe.

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.


Demeter - Lena Vanelslander said...

It might sound simple but one does have to think about it ... very good remark!

Briane P said...

Glad you like it! Sometimes, like Douglas Adams said, the simplest ideas are the best ones. Of course, he was talking about Isaac Newton inventing the catflap.